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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 254631, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/254631
Research Article

Photocatalytic Activity in Phenol Removal of Water from Graphite and Graphene Oxides: Effect of Degassing and Chemical Oxidation in the Synthesis Process

1Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Km 12 de la Carretera Toluca-Atlacomulco, San Cayetano, 50200 Toluca, MEX, Mexico
2División de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro, Avenida Tecnológico s/n Esquina con Mariano Escobedo, Colonia Centro Histórico, 76000 Querétaro, DF, Mexico
3Centro de Física Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Boulevard Juriquilla 3001, 76230 Querétaro, DF, Mexico

Received 14 October 2014; Revised 19 March 2015; Accepted 20 March 2015

Academic Editor: Nurettin Sahiner

Copyright © 2015 Karina Bustos-Ramirez 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

Developing new materials or modifying the existing ones is an amply field studied in the world of research. Due to its outstanding physical and chemical properties, graphene is attractive material for new applications. The methodologies for obtaining graphene are diverse and have changed over time. Graphene oxide is a versatile form of graphene, due to the presence of oxygenated functional groups. Chemical oxidation of graphite and exfoliation by ultrasonic waves is one of the preferred methods to obtain graphene oxide; chemical oxidation time and the degassing effect in the ultrasonic bath are parameters that play an important role in the features and properties of graphene oxide. Thus, in this study, the conventional times used for the oxidation of graphite and degassing in an ultrasonic bath to obtain graphene oxide were modified. The structural changes in the carbon materials were evaluated based on their photocatalytic activity in the removal of an organic pollutant in water (removing up to 38% of phenol). The band gaps of the graphitic materials were obtained by UV-vis obtaining a value range of 1.5–4.7 eV and the structure and morphology of the carbon materials were characterized by infrared and Raman spectroscopies and transmission electron microscopy, respectively.