Nanomaterials applied to dye degradation

In this project, several different metal and metal oxide nanoparticles are being investigated for the degradation of dyes in water. The adsorption and degradation of dyes on the nanoparticle surfaces is evaluated by UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy and similar hand-held absorption techniques that especially suited for on-site analysis. When the dye is degraded or adsorbed on the nanoparticle surfaces, its absorbance is reduced. Since the absorbance is directly proportional to the concentration of the dye and follows Lambert-Beers law, the remaining dye-concentration after degradation is subsequently extrapolated from the calibration curve. Several different nanoparticles are studied in order to evaluate their potential in the oxidation of the dye. Furthermore, different experimental setups are tested to evaluate the dye-degradation. The photoabsorption by nanoparticles is of great importance in the photocatalytic activity and different setups can have different methods of optimizing it. Moreover, the reclamation and reuse of the nanoparticles after the degradation or adsorption are paramount. In principle, a photocatalyst should work for several cycles of dye-degradation. In addition, by applying the photocatalytic nanoparticles to electrodes, a synergetic effect with electrochemistry can be achieved. Subsequently, outdoor experiments will be performed to monitor the degradation under real conditions. In all, this project attempts to find the best way to degrade dyes with cost-effective methods and optimum turnover rates in a sustainable way.

List of relevant publications:

Research project partially funded by EMÜ Bridge Funding (P200030TIBT) and the Estonian Centre of Excellence 2015 EQUiTANT (TK134).