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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 859294, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/859294
Research Article

Photoetching of Immobilized T i O 2 - E N R 5 0 -PVC Composite for Improved Photocatalytic Activity

School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden 11800, Malaysia

Received 23 February 2012; Accepted 26 March 2012

Academic Editor: Stéphane Jobic

Copyright © 2012 M. A. Nawi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Commercially acquired TiO2 photocatalyst (99% anatase) powder was mixed with epoxidized natural rubber-50 (ENR50)/polyvinyl chloride (PVC) blend by ultrasonication and immobilized onto glass plates as TiO2-ENR50-PVC composite via a dip-coating method. Photoetching of the immobilized TiO2-ENR50-PVC composite was investigated under the irradiation of a 45 W compact fluorescent lamp and characterized by chemical oxygen demand (COD) analysis, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) spectrometry, thermogravimetry analysis (TGA), and fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The BET surface area of the photoetched TiO2 composite was observed to be larger than the original TiO2 powder due to the systematic removal of ENR50 while PVC was retained within the composite. It also exhibited better photocatalytic efficiency than the TiO2 powder in a slurry mode and was highly reproducible and reusable. More than 98% of MB removal was consistently achieved for 10 repeated runs of the photo-etched photocatalyst system. About 93% of the 20 mg L−1 MB was mineralized over a period of 480 min. The presence of S O 4 2 , N O 3 , and Cl anions was detected in the mineralized solution where the solution pH was reduced from 7 to 4.