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Journal of Photocatalysis


ISSN (Print): 2665-976X
ISSN (Online): 2665-9778

General Research Article

Degradation of the O-phenylphenol Fungicide in Water by Unconventional CeO2-WO3 Photocatalysts

Author(s): Roberto Fiorenza, Stefano Andrea Balsamo and Salvatore Scirè*

Volume 2 , Issue 3 , 2021

Published on: 16 August, 2021

Page: [234 - 242] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/2665976X02666210816113433


Background: Water pollution due to emerging contaminants such as pesticides, pharmaceutics and/or plasticizers, is a serious environmental problem strictly connected to the safety of human and ecosystem life. For this reason, the development of high-performing (photo)catalysts for water purification is crucial.

Objective: In recent years, the synergistic effects in Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) can perform better strategies to remove recalcitrant contaminants from water. In this context, the (photo) catalytic activity of CeO2-WO3 materials for the degradation of the orto-phenylphenol fungicide comparing the photocatalytic, the Fenton and the photo-Fenton-like processes, has been examined.

Methods: The samples were synthetized through deposition-precipitation mediated with the hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) surfactant. The chemico-physical properties of the materials were examined by Raman, UV-Vis Diffuse Reflectance (Uv-vis DRS) and X-Ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopies, N2 adsorption-desorption measurements and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The (photo)catalytic measurements were made through a home-made photoreactor irradiated by a solar lamp. The degradation of the fungicide was measured by UV-vis spectroscopy.

Results: An efficient heterojunction was formed between the CeO2 and the WO3 oxides, which provided a good degradation percentage of the pesticide (65%) employing the solar photo-Fenton-like reaction that was the best performing process among the three investigated AOPs. The addition of WO3 on CeO2 facilitated the ionic exchange between the Ce and the W ions, boosting the redox properties of cerium oxide.

Conclusion: The strong interaction between CeO2 and WO3 and the peculiar properties of this unconventional composite pave the way to its use as a promising material for water depollution.

Keywords: AOP, photocatalysis, photo-fenton, pesticides, water purification, CeO2, WO3.

Graphical Abstract

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