Carbon-based composite materials with high specific surface areas have drawn significant interest in photocatalytic wastewater treatment. Herein, a porous SnO2 aerogel@polymer-derived carbon (PDC) composite was fabricated via an emulsion polymerization followed by epoxide-assisted gelation approach. The enhancement of photocatalytic activity could be mainly attributed to the synergistic effect between the rutile and porous SnO2 aerogel and carbon, which was found to enhance the electron–hole separation, necessary to improve photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants. In addition, the SnO2 aerogel@PDC composite catalyst can be easily separated from dye solution without centrifugation and filtration due to its foam structure. In comparison with the pristine SnO2 aerogel, the SnO2 aerogel@PDC composite photocatalyst exhibited a substantial improvement in the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) dye degradation under UV-light irradiation (~60% degradation vs. ~90% degradation, respectively). The photodegradation reaction of MB over the SnO2 aerogel@PDC composite photocatalyst under UV-light illumination shows pseudo-first-order kinetics, with a rate constant (k) almost 1.5-fold larger than that of the pristine SnO2 aerogel. This facile construction provides insights into designing new three-dimensional (3D) materials as photocatalysts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Samsung Research Funding & Incubation Center of Samsung Electronics under Project Number SRFC-TA1703-04 . V.G. Parale would like to thank the Brain Korea 21 (BK21) Project for financial support in the form of a Research Professorship.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry