TiO2–PANI/Cork composite: A new floating photocatalyst for the treatment of organic pollutants under sunlight irradiation

Mouheb Sboui , Mohamed Faouzi Nsib , Ali Rayes , Meenakshisundaram Swaminathan , Ammar Houas


Received August 01, 2016,Revised December 06, 2016, Accepted , Available online October 23, 2017

Volume 29,2017,Pages 3-13

A novel photocatalyst based on TiO2–PANI composite supported on small pieces of cork has been reported. It was prepared by simple impregnation method of the polyaniline (PANI)– modified TiO2 on cork. The TiO2–PANI/Cork catalyst shows the unique feature of floating on the water surface. The as-synthesized catalyst was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron micrograph (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogra-vimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra (UV–vis DRS) and the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area analysis. Characterization suggested the formation of anatase highly dispersed on the cork surface. The prepared floating photocatalyst showed high efficiency for the degradation of methyl orange dye and other organic pollutants under solar irradiation and constrained conditions, i.e., no-stirring and no-oxygenation. The TiO2–PANI/Cork floating photocatalyst can be reused for at least four consecutive times without significant decrease of the degradation efficiency.

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