TiO2 of anatase structure was modified by tungsten dioxide and H2O2 in order to obtain WO3-TiO2 photocatalyst with enhanced photocatalytic activity under both, UV and artificial solar light irradiations. WO2 was dissolved in 30% H2O2 and mixed with TiO2 in a vacuum evaporator at 70°C. Such modified TiO2 was dried and then calcinated at 400 and 600°C.
The prepared samples and unmodified TiO2 were used for the photocatalytic decomposition of humic acids (Leonardite standard IHSS) in the aqueous solution under irradiations of both, UV and artificial solar light. Modification of TiO2 with tungsten dioxide and H2O2 improved separation of free carriers in TiO2 which resulted in the increase of OH radicals formation. Calcination caused an increase of anatase crystals and higher yield in OH radicals. The uncalcined samples showed high abilities for the adsorption of HA. Combination of adsorption abilities and photocatalytic activity of photocatalyst caused that the uncalcined TiO2 modified with WO2/H2O2 showed the shortest time of HA mineralisation. The mineralisation of HA under the artificial solar light was much lower than under the UV. It was proved that, although OH radicals are powerful in the decomposition of HA, adsorption can facilitate the contact of the adsorbed molecules with the photocatalyst surface and accelerate their photocatalytic decomposition.
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