Advanced Powder Technology, Vol.31, No.1, 128-138, 2020
Enhanced visible-light-induced photocatalytic disinfection of Escherichia coli by ternary Bi2WO6/TiO2/reduced graphene oxide composite materials: Insight into the underlying mechanism
Composites coupling different semiconductors have attracted increasing attention for photocatalytic application owing to low visible-light absorption capability and weak photocatalytic activity of the single-component system. In this study, Bi2WO6/TiO2/rGO ternary composites, successfully synthesized by a facile hydrothermal method, were manifested as an outstanding visible-light-response photocatalyst for the disinfection towards E. coli. X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy demonstrated that GO coupled in the composites was efficiently reduced to rGO during the hydrothermal process, which was greatly beneficial for enhancing light harvest, promoting charge separation, and improving photocatalytic disinfection activity. UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra, photoluminescence and time-resolved photoluminescence, photocurrent measurements, and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy clearly showed that Bi2WO6/TiO2/rGO composites had narrower band gap energy and much better suppression capability of photoinduced electron-hole recombination in comparison to the pure Bi2WO6 and TiO2, and Bi2WO6/TiO2. The radical trapping results revealed that the photogenerated holes (h(+)) were the leading active species responsible for the effective inactivation of E. coli under visible-light irradiation. Hence, the underlying mechanism for the enhanced photocatalytic disinfection performance of Bi2WO6/TiO2/rGO composites was proposed. This study provides new insight into the design and development of composite materials with enhanced photocatalytic activity, which can be an inspiring alternative for environmental application. (C) 2019 The Society of Powder Technology Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. and The Society of Powder Technology Japan. All rights reserved.