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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2014, Article ID 401239, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of UV-Vis Irradiation on Vanadium Etioporphyrins Extracted from Crude Oil and the Role of Nanostructured Titania

1Department of Applied Physics, CINVESTAV-Unidad Mérida, Antigua Carretera a Progreso Km. 6, 97310 Mérida, YUC, Mexico
2Facultad de Ingeniería Química, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Periférico Norte Km. 33.5, Tablaje Catastral 13615, Col. Chuburná de Hidalgo Inn, 97310 Mérida, YUC, Mexico

Received 14 December 2013; Revised 7 February 2014; Accepted 8 February 2014; Published 2 April 2014

Academic Editor: Wei Xiao

Copyright © 2014 Debra Jene Kirkconnell Reyes 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.


The role of UV-irradiation on oil and its derivatives is particularly important for analyzing the degradability of specific oil compounds. Also, nanostructured-TiO2 is one of the most promising photocatalysts so it is expected to be useful in their degradation. However the complexity of crude oil, as well as that of the reactions involved, is such that the effect of the presence of TiO2 under illumination is not well understood. In this paper, the influence of UV-Vis irradiation on vanadium etioporphyrins, extracted from crude oil from Dos Bocas, Tabasco, Mexico, is studied using UV-Vis spectrophotometry in the absence and presence of nanostructured TiO2 or nitrogen-doped TiO2 modified with copper (N-TiO2/Cu). It is shown that the addition of water shortens the time to start photodegradation. However, once this process has initiated, the system enters a second stage, that is very similar for samples with or without water. It is also shown that the use of N-TiO2/Cu induces an important delay in the initiation of the porphyrins’ photodegradation process. Additionally, it has been found that the presence of TiO2 in samples extracted with water induces a small reduction in the photodegradation duration and, hence, that TiO2 can catalyze the degradation of petroporphyrins.