Nano-Micro Letters

A Floatable Piezo-Photocatalytic Platform Based on Semi-Embedded ZnO Nanowire Array for High-Performance Water Decontamination

Yaozhong Zhang1, *, Xiaolu Huang2, Junghoon Yeom2, *

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Nano-Micro Lett. (2019) 11: 11

First Online: 24 January 2019 (Article)


*Corresponding author. E-mail: yzzhang@msu.edu (Yaozhong Zhang); jyeom@egr.msu.edu (Junghoon Yeom)





Photocatalytic degradation attracts considerable attention because it is a promising strategy to treat pollutants from industrial and agricultural wastes. In recent years, other than the development of efficient photocatalysts, much efforts are being devoted to the design of reliable and inexpensive photocatalytic platforms that work in various environment conditions. Here, we describe a novel photocatalytic platform that is able to float and freely move atop water while performing photodegradation. Compared to common platforms, such as slurry reactors and immobilized photoreactors, the proposed platform is advantageous in terms of easy recycling and energy saving. Furthermore, the special configuration resulting from a two-step synthesis route, semi-embedded photocatalysts, addresses some of the remaining challenges, for instance, the contamination from the loose photocatalysts themselves. For the probe pollutant, methylene blue (MB), a reproducible and remarkable degradation activity of the platform is observed and the effect of two primary factors, including surface area of the catalyst and mass transfer rate, are investigated. Besides, the piezo-photocatalysis effect, serving as an additional functionality, is confirmed to further improve the degradability of the platform, which offers an additional 20% of degraded MB. At last, the promising result of the degradation toward crude oil reveals the possibility of the platform to be used in gasoline pollution treatment.



Semi-embedded structure; Photocatalysis; Piezocatalysis; ZnO nanowire arrays

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