In this study, the influence of the temperature on the photodegradation process using Ag-doped TiO2 nanostructures was investigated. Two morphologies were used; nanoparticles and nanofibers. The nanofibers were synthesized by electrospinning of a sol–gel consisting of titanium isopropoxide, silver nitrate and poly(vinyl acetate). The silver nitrate amount was changed to produce nanofibers having different silver contents. Typically, sol–gels containing 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 wt% silver nitrate were utilized. Calcination of the electrospun mats at 700 °C led to produce well morphology Ag-doped TiO2 nanofibers for all formulations. The nanoparticles were prepared from the same sol–gels, however, instead of spinning the gels were dried, grinded and sintered at 700 °C. Photodegradation under UV irradiation for the rhodamine B at 5, 15, 25, 45 and 55 °C were performed. For the nanoparticles, increasing the temperature has positive impact as the best degradation was obtained at 55 °C. In contrast to the known influence of the temperature on the chemical reactions, in case of the nanofibrous morphology, the temperature has negative impact as the experimental work indicated that the optimum temperature is 25 °C. The observed strange effect of the temperature in case of the nanofibrous morphology indicates instant degradation of the dye molecules in the active zones surrounding the nanofibers. Therefore, the increase of temperature results in increase the kinetic energy of the dye molecules so the molecules escape from the active thin film surrounding the photocatalyst. Overall, this study shows that the nanofibrous morphology strongly enhances the surface activity of the photocatalyst which generates negative influence of the temperature.
Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, 2013, Vol 366
Ag-doped TiO2; Nanofibers; Effect of temperature; Electrospinning