Published: CABEQ 31 (4) (2017) 385-394
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Synthesis of PEDOT/ZnO Photocatalyst: Validation of Photocatalytic Activity by Degradation of Azo RR45 Dye Under Solar and UV-A Irradiation

Z. Katančić, S. Šuka, K. Vrbat, A. Tašić and Z. Hrnjak-Murgić

To study the photocatalytic efficiency of wastewater treatment processes, the nanocomposites of conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and ZnO nanoparticles were prepared by in-situ synthesis. ZnO is an excellent photocatalyst under UV light, but due to high band gap, photons of visible light have insufficient energy to excite electrons from valence to conductive band, which limits its activity under visible light and therefore practical usage is limited. The PEDOT conductive polymer was used to increase the photocatalytic activity of ZnO since conductive polymers are known as efficient electron donor and good electron transporters upon visible-light excitation. Polymerization of pure PEDOT and PEDOT/ZnO nanocomposites was carried out at varying monomer:oxidant ratio (1:2; 1:3; 1:5) with the ammonium persulfate (APS) used as the oxidant. Samples were characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, XRD analysis, SEM microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy and TG analysis. Photocatalytic activity was assessed through removal of C.I. Reactive Red 45 (RR45) azo dye under simulated Solar and UV-A irradiation. Photocatalysis was monitored by measuring discoloration of RR45 using UV/Vis spectroscopy. The results indicate that very low concentration of PEDOT conductive polymer in PEDOT/ZnO nanocomposite can significantly contribute to the efficiency of the photocatalytic process during wastewater treatment. (This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

azo dye, conductive polymers, photocatalysis, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), simulated solar irradiation, zinc oxide