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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 2862567, 7 pages
Research Article

Filter Paper Inspired Zinc Oxide Nanomaterials with High Photocatalytic Activity for Degradation of Methylene Orange

Research Institute for New Materials Technology, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Environmental Materials & Remediation Technologies, Chongqing University of Arts and Science, Chongqing 402160, China

Received 23 January 2016; Revised 5 May 2016; Accepted 17 May 2016

Academic Editor: Ewa Schab-Balcerzak

Copyright © 2016 Huang Liu 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.


Nanometer-sized zinc oxide (ZnO) has been synthesized through sol-gel method with natural cellulose substance (commercial filter paper) as template. The structure of zinc oxide nanomaterial was characterized by nitrogen adsorption-desorption and XRD. The morphology was observed by SEM and TEM. The results show that the hexagonal wurtzite phase is actually the only crystal phase in the sample and the product faithfully inherits the hierarchical morphology and the complex network structure of the original filter paper, which is composed of many randomly intersecting zinc oxide microfibers and nanosheets with lots of close stacked particles adsorbed on the surface. Moreover, these zinc oxide nanomaterials possess abundant mesoporous structure with an average pore diameter of ca. 21 nm and a wide pore size distribution (3–30 nm). Due to the strong absorption ability in the UV range, the zinc oxide nanomaterial prepared by this method displays significantly high photocatalytic activity for degrading methyl orange. In a short period of 20 minutes, the zinc oxide nanomaterial has degraded about 50% of the original MO, and the MO dye is fully degraded after UV irradiation for 80 minutes.