The presented studies have focused on the influence of TiO2 properties, such as crystalline phase, crystallite size and surface area, on the effectiveness of degradation of azo dyes in water under UV irradiation. Two monoazo dyes: Acid Red 18 (AR18, C20H11N2Na3O10S3) and Acid Yellow 36 (AY36, C18H14N3NaO3S), and one polyazo dye Direct Green 99 (DG99, C44H28N12Na4O14S4) were applied as model compounds. The photocatalysts were prepared from a crude titanium dioxide obtained directly from the production line (sulfate technology) at the Chemical Factory "Police" (Poland). The crude TiO2 was calcinated in air for 1-4h at the temperatures ranging from 600 to 800°C. The BET specific surface area of TiO2 decreased gradually with increasing the calcination temperature. The crude TiO2 exhibited specific surface area of 277 m2/g. In case of the catalysts heated at 600, 700 and 800°C the BET surface area amounted to 62.3-53.3, 33.4-26.8 and 8.9-8.3 m2/g, for the calcination time of 1-4h, respectively. The crystallite size of anatase increased with increasing heat treatment temperature and ranged from 19 to 53 nm, for the temperatures of 600-800°C, respectively. The catalysts annealed at 600 and 700°C contained primarily anatase phase (94-97%), whereas the photocatalysts heated at 800°C were composed mainly of rutile (97-99%). The highest effectiveness of azo dyes degradation was obtained in case of the photocatalyst calcinated for 1h at 700°C. The photocatalyst was composed mainly of anatase (97%) with crystallite size of 27 nm. The most effectively photodegraded was AR18, having the molecular weight of 640.4 g/mol. The most difficult to degrade was AY36 exhibiting the lowest molecular weight from all the dyes used (375.4 g/mol).
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