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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2015, Article ID 612857, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/612857
Research Article

Synthesis and Optimization of Visible Light Active BiVO4 Photocatalysts for the Degradation of RhB

1Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5
2Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Received 9 May 2015; Accepted 15 July 2015

Academic Editor: Mohammad Muneer

Copyright © 2015 Rong Ran 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

Monoclinic BiVO4 powders were synthesized via a novel route using potassium metavanadate (KVO3) prepared by calcination of K2CO3 and V2O5 as a starting material and followed by hydrothermal treatment and were investigated for the degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) under visible light irradiation. The synthesized BiVO4 particles were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and UV-Visible (UV-Vis) light diffuse reflectance spectrophotometry. The synthesis produced pure monoclinic BiVO4 particles with multimorphological features containing flower-like, flake-ball, flake, cuboid-like, and plate-like shapes and exhibited strong absorption in the visible light range. The BiVO4 prepared via KVO3 possessed excellent photocatalytic activity for the degradation of RhB under visible light. The performance of this catalyst was found to be superior to other BiVO4 photocatalysts prepared via ammonium metavanadate (NH4VO3) using coprecipitation, combustion, and calcination methods reported in literature, respectively.