Ag@helical chiral TiO2 nanofibres for visible light photocatalytic degradation of 17?-ethinylestradiol

Ag-modified helical chiral TiO2 nanofibres (Ag@chiral TiO2 NFs) were fabricated and characterised by ultraviolet-visible absorption spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. This novel material exhibited efficient photocatalytic activity for the degradation of 17?-ethinylestradiol (EE2) in water under visible light irradiation with an optimum size of deposited silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) in the range of 12 – 14 nm. The pseudo-first-order rate constant (k obs) for EE2 photodegradation by Ag@chiral TiO2 NFs increased by up to a factor of 20.1 when compared with that of pure chiral TiO2 NFs. The high photocatalytic activity can be attributed to the interactions between helical chiral TiO2 NFs and surface plasmon resonance effect of Ag NPs. The new catalyst retains its photocatalytic activity at least up to five consecutive cycles. The results clearly demonstrate the feasibility of using Ag@chiral TiO2 NFs for the photocatalytic removal of EE2 and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals from water.

Authors: Zhang C, Li Y, Wang D, Zhang W, Wang Q, Wang Y, Wang P. ;Full Source: Environmental Science & Pollution Research International. 2015 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print] ;