Ethiopian natural zeolites for photocatalysis
The combination of zeolites and photochemistry has recently shown excellent results due to the special structure of the zeolites that helps a better use of the solar energy improving the selectivity of the chemical reactions carried out. There are several reports on the preparation of TiO2 confined nanoparticles in synthetic zeolites. However, very few reports are found on the use of natural zeolites. Zeolites are a vast natural resource in Ethiopia that remains unexploited. Their microporous structure can accommodate a wide variety of cations such as sodium, potassium and magnesium among others. The main objective of our work was to test the potential use of the naturally occurring zeolites, with high content in titanium, as photocatalysts. The samples have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), chemical analysis (ICP-OES), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-Vis) and photocatalytic activities of the samples were tested in photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange (MO).
KEY WORDS: Natural zeolite, Photocatalysis, Band gap energy, Methyl orange, TiO2 loading
Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2015, 29(3), 431-440.