- Research article
- Open Access
Rapid destruction of the rhodamine B using TiO2photocatalyst in the liquid phase plasma
© Lee et al.; licensee Chemistry Central Ltd. 2013
Received: 8 June 2013
Accepted: 30 August 2013
Published: 16 September 2013
Rhodamine B (RhB) is widely used as a colorant in textiles and food stuffs, and is also a well-known water tracer fluorescent. It is harmful to human beings and animals, and causes irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. The carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and chronic toxicity toward humans and animals have been experimentally proven. RhB cannot be effectively removed by biological treatment due to the slow kinetics. Therefore, RhB is chosen as a model pollutant for liquid phase plasma (LPP) treatment in the present investigation.
This paper presents experimental results for the bleaching of RhB from aqueous solutions in the presence of TiO2 photocatalyst with LPP system. Properties of generated plasma were investigated by optical emission spectroscopy methods. The results of electrical-discharge degradation of RhB showed that the decomposition rate increased with the applied voltage, pulse width, and frequency. The oxygen gas addition to reactant solution increases the degradation rate by active oxygen species. The RhB decomposition rate was shown to increase with the TiO2 particle dosage.
This work presents the conclusions on the photocatalytic oxidation of RhB, as a function of plasma conditions, oxygen gas bubbling as well as TiO2 particle dosage. We knew that using the liquid phase plasma system with TiO2 photocatalyst at high speed we could remove the organic matter in the water.
Due to dyeing of fabric, wastewater from many textile industries contains color and as such cannot be disposed into the environment. Traditional methods for dye removal include biological treatment , coagulation , filtration  and adsorption ; however, because of high dye concentrations and the increased stability of synthetic dyes, these methods are becoming less effective for the treatment of colored industry effluents [5, 6]. To overcome the problems associated with these traditional methods of dye removal, attention has been focused on advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). AOPs have been developed to degrade biorefractory organics in drinking water and industry effluents [7, 8]. AOPs employ a high oxidation-potential source to produce the primary oxidant species, hydroxyl radicals, which react rapidly and unselectively with most organic compounds . Recently, glow discharge in liquid phase has been used to degrade organic pollutants in water [10, 11], because not only hydroxyl radicals but also atomic oxygen having a high oxidation potential can be produced in this way. Another application of TiO2 photocatalyst in AOPs water treatment has been investigated widely [12, 13]. There are still many problems yet to be solved, however, in application of TiO2 photocatalyst in the treatment of non-biodegradable materials. First, photocatalysis has usually been used in air pollutants treatment because it is suitable for treatment of low-concentration pollutants. Concentrations of water pollutants, however, are much higher than those of air pollutants. Thus, their treatment by photocatalysis is difficult compared to that of air pollutants. Second, polluted water has high turbidity, hence low transparency, hindering activation of photocatalysts by ultraviolet (UV) rays. Third, the amount of oxygen available for photocatalytic oxidation is very low in water compared to in air. Due to these reasons, photocatalytic oxidation of water pollutants has not received large attention thus far.
RhB is widely used as a colorant in textiles and food stuffs, and is also a well-known water tracer fluorescent . It is harmful to human beings and animals, and causes irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. The carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity and chronic toxicity toward humans and animals have been experimentally proven [15, 16]. RhB cannot be effectively removed by biological treatment due to the slow kinetics. Therefore, RhB is chosen as a model pollutant for liquid phase plasma (LPP) treatment in the present investigation. This paper presents experimental results for the bleaching of RhB from aqueous solutions in the presence of plasma generated by a bipolar pulsed discharge system added TiO2 photocatalyst. Properties of generated plasma were investigated by electrical and optical emission spectroscopy methods. The effects of plasma conditions, addition of oxygen bubbles, and TiO2 nanoparticle dosage were investigated.
Materials and methods
In this study, the decomposition activity was investigated with the RhB (C28H31ClN2O3) in its aqueous solution. High purity grade RhB was purchased from Daejung Chemical & metals Co.. RhB aqueous solution 300 ml with the concentration of 1.3 × 10-2 mM was prepared. RhB concentration was determined from the absorbance measured by a spectrophotometer (UV-1601, Shimadzu) at 550-nm wavelength. The photocatalyst was Degussa P-25 TiO2 (powder, specific surface area 53 m2 g−1 by the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method, particle size 20–30 nm by Transmission electron microscopy, composition 83% anatase and 17% rutile by X-ray diffraction).
Results and discussion
Optical emission spectroscopy
Effect of impressed voltage
Effect of pulse width
Effect of frequency
Effect of oxygen gas bubbling
Detected hydroxyl radicals in the emission spectra obtained at different O 2 gas flow rate
O2gas flow rate [ cc/min ]
OES counts [ a.u. ]
Effect of TiO2particle dosages
The excited states of atomic hydrogen and atomic oxygen as well as the molecular bands of the hydroxyl radical were detected in the emission spectra and the hydroxyl radical at 283 nm was acquired only when oxygen gas was bubbled.
The results of LPP degradation of RhB showed that the decomposition rate increased with the applied voltage, pulse width, and frequency.
The oxygen gas addition to reactant solution increases the degradation rate by active oxygen species, which is generated from adding oxygen gas.
The RhB decomposition rate was shown to increase with the TiO2 particle dosage.
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2013R1A1A2A10004797).
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