Integrated adsorption-photodegradation of organic pollutants by combined photoactive carbon xerogel/titania adsorbent

Anam Safri, Ashleigh Jane Fletcher, Ramsha Safri, Hifza Rasheed

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Recent studies on the removal of pollutants via adsorption include the use of carbon-based adsorbents, due to their high porosity and large surface area; however, such materials lack photoactive properties. This study evaluates the synergistic effect of integrated mesoporous carbon xerogel (derived from resorcinol formaldehyde) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) for combined adsorption and photodegradation application. The complex formed between carbon xerogel and TiO2 phase was investigated through FTIR, proving the presence of a Ti-O-C chemical linkage. The physicochemical properties of the synthesised adsorbent-photocatalyst were probed using FESEM, BET analysis and UV-Vis analysis. The kinetics, equilibrium adsorption, effect of pH, and effect of adsorbent dosage were investigated. The expansion of the absorbance range to the visible range was verified and the corresponding band gap evaluated. These properties enabled visible light response when the system was exposed to visible light post-adsorption. Hence, an assistive adsorption-photodegradation phenomenon were successfully executed. The adsorption performance exhibited 85% dye degradation and improved to 99% following photodegradation. Further experiments showed the reduction of microorganisms under visible light, where no microbial colonies were observed after treatment, indicating the potential application of these composite materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8483
Number of pages20
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022


  • carbon xerogel
  • TiO2
  • photocatalysis
  • dye degradation
  • adsorption isotherm
  • adsorption kinetics
  • microbial degradation


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