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Synergistic effect of adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of oilfield-produced water by electrospun photocatalytic fibers of Polystyrene/Nanorod-Graphitic carbon nitride

Amir H. Navarchian , Parisa Azmoon , Mehrdad Farhadian , Alireza Pendashteh


Received November 30, 2022,Revised , Accepted May 29, 2023, Available online June 12, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 287-303

Graphitic carbon nitride with nanorod structure (Nr-GCN) was synthesized using melamine as a precursor without any other reagents by hydrothermal pretreatment method. XRD, FTIR, SEM, N2 adsorption-desorption from BET, UV–Vis DRS spectroscopy, and photoluminescence were used to characterize the prepared samples. Also, the photoelectrochemical behavior of nanoparticles was studied by photocurrent transient response and cyclic voltammetry analysis. Polystyrene (PS) fibrous mat was fabricated by electrospinning technique and used as a support for the stabilization of the nanoparticles. The performance of the synthesized nanoparticles and photocatalytic fibers (PS/Nr-GCN) was evaluated in oilfield-produced water treatment under visible light irradiation. During this process, oil contaminants were adsorbed by hydrophobic polystyrene fibers and simultaneously degraded by Nr-GCN. The removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD) has been obtained 96.6% and 98.4% by Nr-GCN and PS/Nr-GCN, respectively, at the optimum conditions of pH 4, photocatalyst dosage 0.5 g/L, COD initial concentration 550 mg/L, and illumination time 150 min. The gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis results showed 99.3% removal of total petroleum hydrocarbons using photocatalytic fibers of PS/Nr-GCN. The results demonstrated that the GCN has outstanding features like controllable morphology, visible-light-driven, and showing high potential in oily wastewater remediation. Moreover, the synergistic effect of adsorption and photocatalytic degradation is an effective technique in oilfield-produced water treatment.

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