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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 524141, 10 pages
Research Article

Application of a Novel Semiconductor Catalyst, CT, in Degradation of Aromatic Pollutants in Wastewater: Phenol and Catechol

1Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2College of Environmental Science & Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
3Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China
4FIRAC International Co., Ltd., 455-1 Fukude, Fukude-Cho Iwata-Gun, Shizuoka 437-1203, Japan
5Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9825, Beijing 100029, China
6Laboratory for Food Safety and Environmental Technology, Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China

Received 15 November 2013; Revised 10 February 2014; Accepted 10 February 2014; Published 14 April 2014

Academic Editor: Fan Dong

Copyright © 2014 Xiao Chen 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.


Water-soluble phenol and phenolic compounds were generally removed via advanced oxidation processes. A novel semiconductor catalyst, CT, was the first-time employed in the present study to degrade phenol and catechol. The phenolic compounds (initial concentration of 88 mg L−1) were completely mineralized by the CT catalytic nanoparticles (1%) within 15 days, under acidic condition and with the presence of mild UV radiation (15 w, the emitted wavelength is 254 nm and the light intensity <26 μw/cm2). Under the same reaction condition, 1% TiO2 (mixture of rutile and anatase, nanopowder, <100 nm) and H2O2 had lower removal efficiency (phenol: <42%; catechol: <60%), whereas the control (without addition of catalysts/H2O2) only showed <12% removal. The processes of phenol/catechol removal by CT followed pseudo-zero-order kinetics. The aromatic structures absorbed the UV energy and passed to an excited state, which the CT worked on. The pollutants were adsorbed on the CT’s surface and oxidized via charge-transfer and hydroxyl radical generation by CT. Given low initial concentrations, a circumstance encountered in wastewater polishing, the current set-up should be an efficient and less energy- and chemical-consumptive treatment method.