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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2012 Nov;19(9):3688-95. doi: 10.1007/s11356-012-0932-y. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Transition metal-modified zinc oxides for UV and visible light photocatalysis.

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Institut für Technische Chemie, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstr. 3, 30167, Hannover, Germany.


In order to use photocatalysis with solar light, finding more active and especially visible light active photocatalysts is a very important challenge. Also, studies of these photocatalysts should employ a standardized test procedure so that their results can be accurately compared and evaluated with one another. A systematic study of transition metal-modified zinc oxide was conducted to determine whether they are suitable as visible light photocatalysts. The photocatalytic activity of ZnO modified with eight different transition metals (Cu, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, Ru, Ti, Zr) in three different concentrations (0.01, 0.1, and 1 at.%) was investigated under irradiation with UV as well as with visible light. The employed activity test is the gas-phase degradation of acetaldehyde as described by the ISO standard 22197-2. The results suggest that the UV activity can be improved with almost any modification element and that there exists an optimal modification ratio at about 0.1 at.%. Additionally, Mn- and Ru-modified ZnO display visible light activity. Especially the Ru-modified ZnO is highly active and surpasses the visible light activity of all studied titania standards. These findings suggest that modified zinc oxides may be a viable alternative to titanium dioxide-based catalysts for visible light photocatalysis. Eventually, possible underlying mechanisms are proposed and discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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