Applied Catalysis A: General, Vol.526, 126-131, 2016
Photocatalytic Escherichia coli inactivation by means of trivalent Er3+, Y3+ doping of BiVO4 system
BiVO4 samples doped with different contents of Er3+ and Y3+ were prepared by a simple surfactant free hydrothermal method. X-ray diffraction reveals that the doped materials consist of a heterogeneous structure formed by a mixture of tetragonal and monoclinic phases, being found Er3+ and Y3+ co-doping clearly stabilize the tetragonal structure of BiVO4. The monoclinic BiVO4 samples shows a strong absorption in the visible light region leading to band-gap values of around 2.4eV while the tetragonal BiVO4 displays higher band-gap values of 2.9 eV. The photocatalytic activity of the catalysts was investigated for the oxidation of methanol and inactivation of Escherichia coli showing that all the BiVO4 catalysts are photocatalytically active in the oxidation of methanol and are able to inactivate more than 99.99% of bacteria not only under UV light but also under visible light irradiation. The results revealed that the co-doping of Er3+ and Y3+ into BiVO4 exhibited enhanced photocatalytic activity for methanol oxidation under simulated solar light irradiation. The inactivation of E.coli show similar results for the doped systems although in relative terms of activity the Er3+,Y3+-BiVO4 sample show a better use of the visible light, leading to a higher activity than P25-TiO2. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.