Herein, through supramolecular gel assisted pre-configuration, a novel bamboo-like porous graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) deposited with single-atom Fe was successfully prepared and used for sulfite (S(IV)) activation. Unexpectedly, owing to the presence of single-atom Fe, hybrid material with only 2.5‰ of Fe exhibited 16 times higher S(IV) activation efficiency for diclofenac removal than pure g-C3N4 under visible light irradiation. Moreover, a synergetic effect of Fe and g-C3N4 was found to play the dominate role, and the synergetic factor was calculated to be 0.84. The synergetic mechanism mainly related to the generation of surface Fe-S(IV) complex, which could be affected by S(IV) species or the presence of H2PO4−. DCF removal was significantly enhanced at alkaline condition, but the enhancement was mainly attributed to photocatalysis but not synergetic effect. Decarboxylation, hydroxylation, chlorine abstraction and cleavages at bridging N atom were the main degradation pathways of DCF, which agreed well with Fukui index prediction. The toxicity of DCF was alleviated during the degradation process through successful mineralization of chlorine atoms.
V-Fe concentrate ore was applied to activate peroxydisulfate (PDS) for carbamazepine (CBZ) degradation. The excellent performance of V-Fe concentrate ore was mainly ascribed to the quick electron transfer from surface ≡V(III) and ≡V (IV) to ≡Fe(III) for ≡Fe(II) regeneration, which was confirmed by XPS and XAS analyses. This accelerated ≡Fe(II) regeneration could thus lead to quick formation of HO, SO4−, O2− and effective degradation of CBZ. The degradation rate of CBZ could be also expressed by a kinetic model, i.e., −d[CBZ]/dt = (0.83 mM-0.55 min-1(g/L)-0.65) [CBZ]0.29[PDS]1.26[V-Fe]0.65. Combined with the measured intermediates and the results of DFT calculation, CBZ degradation pathway was proposed systematically. Moreover, this catalyst displayed excellent recyclability and general applicability for a broad substrate scope. This study suggests low valent vanadium makes crucial contributions to the high activity of V-Fe-based catalysts, and improves the understanding of electron transfer mechanism between V and Fe in PDS activation process.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are of great concern due to their increasing health effects, so advanced treatment technologies for PPCPs removal are urgently needed. In this study, titanate nanotubes decorated Co(OH)2 hollow microsphere (CoM/TNTs) composites were synthesized by a two-step solvothermal method, and used to activate peroxymonosulfate (PMS) through heterogenous catalysis for acetaminophen (ACE) degradation in water. The optimum material (CoM/TNTs0.5) activated PMS system exhibited high ACE removal efficiency and quick kinetic, as 93.0% ACE was degraded even within 10 min. The two components in CoM/TNTs showed a synergetic effect on PMS activation for radicals production: Co(OH)+ from CoM was the primary active species to active PMS, while TNTs could offer abundant –OH groups for Co(OH)+ formation. Density functional theory (DFT) calculation further interpreted the mechanism of Co(OH)+ for PMS activation by means of reaction potential energy surface (PES) analysis. Both the scavenger quenching tests and electron paramagnetic resonance analysis revealed that the sulfate radical (SO4-·) played a dominant role in ACE degradation. Moreover, DFT calculation also suggested that the ACE atoms with high Fukui index (f -) represented the active sites for electrophilic attack by SO4-·. The toxicity analysis based on quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) verified the reduced toxicity of transformation products. Furthermore, CoM/TNTs also had good reusability and stability over five cycles. This work provides deep insights into the reaction mechanisms of radical production and organics attack in cobalt-based PMS activation system.
Bifunctional Bi12O17Cl2/MIL-100(Fe) composite (BMx) was firstly constructed via facile ball-milling method. The optimal BM200 was highly efficient for Cr(VI) sequestration and activation of persulfate (PS) for bisphenol A (BPA) decomposition under white light illumination, which was much more remarkable than the pristine MIL-100(Fe) and Bi12O17Cl2, respectively. Furthermore, the photocatalytic reduction efficiency can be significantly improved via the addition of some green small organic acids (SOAs). As well, the BPA degradation can be achieved over an extensive initial pH range of 3.0–11.0. When the PS concentration increased to more than 2.0 mM, the BPA degradation efficiency decreased due to the SO4−• self-scavenging effect. It was also found that the co-existence of inorganic anions like H2PO4−, HCO3−, SO42−, Cl− and NO3− could decelerate the BPA degradation. The excellent photocatalytic Cr(VI) reduction and persulfate activation performances originated from both MIL-100(Fe) with excellent PS activation ability and Bi12O17Cl2 with a favorable band position, which not only enabled the efficient separation of charges but also accelerated the formation of SO4−• radicals. The BM200 displayed prominent stability and recyclability. More importantly, the credible degradation pathway was proposed based on UHPLC-MS analysis and DFT calculation. This research revealed that the Fe-based MOFs/bismuth-rich bismuth oxyhalides (BixOyXz, X = Cl, Br and I) composites possessed great potential in wastewater remediation.
Developing efficient pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) degradation technologies is of scientifical and practical importance to restrain their discharge into natural water environment. This study fabricated and applied a composite material of amorphous MnO2 nanoparticles in-situ anchored titanate nanotubes (AMnTi) to activate peroxymonosulfate (PMS) for efficient degradation and mineralization of carbamazepine (CBZ). The degradation pathway and toxicity evolution of CBZ during elimination were deeply evaluated through produced intermediates identification and theoretical calculations. AMnTi with a composition of (0.3MnO2)•(Na1.22H0.78Ti3O7) offered high activation efficiency of PMS, which exhibited 21- and 3-times degradation rate of CBZ compared with the pristine TNTs and MnO2, respectively. The high catalytic activity can be attributed to its unique structure, leading to a lattice shrinkage and small pores to confine the PMS molecule onto the interface. Therefore, efficient charge transfer and catalytic activation through MnOTi linkage occurred, and a MnTi cycle mediating catalytic PMS activation was found. Both hydroxyl and sulfate radicals played key roles in CBZ degradation. Theoretical calculations, i.e., density functional theory (DFT) and computational toxicity calculations, combined with intermediates identification revealed that CBZ degradation pathway was hydroxyl addition and NC cleavage. CBZ degradation in this system was also a toxicity-attenuation process.
Exploring the specific characteristics of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) via adsorption and degradation are scientific and practical significance to control their release to water matrix. In this work, a good adsorbent and ion-exchange material, i.e., titanate nanotubes (TNTs), was employed for adsorption of ciprofloxacin (CIP, a model PPCPs). The adsorption behaviors and mechanisms of CIP with different dissociated species by TNTs were studied through both experimental and theoretical calculations. The multilayered TNTs with high BET surface area (272.3 m2/g) and large pore volume (1.26 cm3/g) exhibited good adsorption property for CIP. The CIP species (i.e., CIP+, CIP±, CIP−) at various pH exhibited significantly different adsorption favorability. Adsorption kinetics and isotherms data revealed that TNTs offered the high uptake for CIP+ (Qmax = 464.47 μmol/g or 153.90 mg/g at pH 5) than CIP± and CIP−. Characterizations indicated the formation of Ti−O−N linkage between CIP molecules and TNTs after adsorption, suggesting the chemical interaction between CIP and TNTs. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal variation on pH affects the protonation/deprotonation state of CIP, and then changes the distribution of molecular orbitals and the electrostatic potential (ESP) energy of CIP. ESP follows the trend as: CIP+ (180.57 kcal/mol) > CIP± (146.78 kcal/mol) > CIP− (12.30 kcal/mol), indicating the side of piperazine ring in CIP oriented to TNTs dominates the CIP adsorption. The integrated experimental and theoretical results, for the first time, suggest that ESP energy can serve as the indicator and predictor of adsorption ability for the PPCPs molecules with various speciation, and can help to deeply describe the adsorption mechanism of PPCPs. In addition, TNTs have great application for the removal of PPCPs through adsorption in practical wastewater treatment area.
Mixtures of U(VI) and chlorinated compounds have been detected at many radionuclides-contaminated sites. Yet, simultaneous removal of the two classes of contaminants is still challenging. Herein, we prepared a new type of composite material (TNTs/ACF) based on commercial TiO2 and activated carbon fiber (ACF) through a hydrothermal approach and tested it for simultaneous removal of U(VI) and 2-Chlorophenol (2-CP). The hydrothermal treatment converted TiO2 into titanate nanotubes (TNTs), a cation exchanger, which are not only supported by bulk ACF, but also modified by carbon nanoparticles. TNTs/ACF exhibited fast sorption kinetics and high adsorption capacities for both U(VI) (Langmuir Qmax = 188.0 mg/g) and 2-CP (Qmax = 122.1 mg/g). Moreover, higher adsorption was observed when both solutes are co-present than in the single-solute systems. An extended dual-mode model, which considers adsorption and other specific mechanisms well interpreted the adsorption isotherms. The optimal working pH for U(VI) ranged from 6.0 to 8.0, while the sorption of 2-CP remained high over a broader pH range. The presence of 1.0–10.0 mg/L humic acid as TOC increased the adsorption of both chemicals. The key adsorption mechanism for U(VI) is ion-exchange at the –O− functional sites in the interlayers of TNTs, while 2-CP was taken up via hydrophobic interactions with ACF and capillary condensation. The adsorption synergy of U(VI) and 2-CP in the binary systems resulted from the complexation between U(VI) ions and phenolic groups of 2-CP and the cation–π interactions. TNTs/ACF appears promising for simultaneous removal of radionuclides and chlorinated chemicals from contaminated water.
A low-cost composite of activated charcoal supported titanate nanotubes (TNTs@AC) was developed via the facile hydrothermal method to remove the 17β-estradiol (E2, a model of pharmaceutical and personal care products) in water matrix by initial adsorption and subsequent photo-degradation. Characterizations indicated that the modification occurred, i.e., the titanate nanotubes would be grafted onto the activated charcoal (AC) surface, and the micro-carbon could modify the tubular structure of TNTs. E2 was rapidly adsorbed onto TNTs@AC, and the uptake reached 1.87 mg/g from the dual-mode model fitting. Subsequently, the adsorbed E2 could be degraded 99.8% within 2 h under ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation. TNTs@AC was attributed with a unique hybrid structure, providing the hydrophobic effect, π−π interaction, and capillary condensation for E2 adsorption, and facilitating the electron transfer and then enhancing photocatalytic ability for E2-degradation. In addition, the removal mechanism of E2 was elucidated through the density functional theory calculation. Our study is expected to provide a promising material for environmental application.
Chemical speciation of ionizable antibiotics greatly affects its photochemical kinetics and mechanisms; however, the mechanistic impact of chemical speciation is not well understood. For the first time, the impact of different dissociation species (cationic, zwitterionic and anionic forms) of ciprofloxacin (CIP) on its photocatalytic transformation fate was systematically studied in a UVA/LED/TiO2 system. The dissociation forms of CIP at different pH affected the photocatalytic degradation kinetics, transformation products (TPs) formation as well as degradation pathways. Zwitterionic form of CIP exhibited the highest degradation rate constant (0.2217 ± 0.0179 min−1), removal efficiency of total organic carbon (TOC) and release of fluoride ion (F−). Time-dependent evolution profiles on TPs revealed that the cationic and anionic forms of CIP mainly underwent piperazine ring dealkylation, while zwitterionic CIP primarily proceeded through defluorination and piperazine ring oxidation. Moreover, density functional theory (DFT) calculation based on Fukui index well interpreted the active sites of different CIP species. Potential energy surface (PES) analysis further elucidated the reaction transition state (TS) evolution and energy barrier (ΔEb) for CIP with different dissociation species after radical attack. This study provides deep insights into degradation mechanisms of emerging organic contaminants in advanced oxidation processes associated to their chemical speciation.
Uranium is one of the most commonly detected radionuclides in the environment. Of the two most predominant oxidation states, U(VI) is much more soluble, mobile and toxic than U(IV). Consequently, converting U(VI) to U(IV) can facilitate the removal of U from water and reduce its mobility and biological exposure. In this work, stabilized zero-valent iron (ZVI) nanoparticles were prepared using starch or carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) as stabilizers and then tested for reductive removal of U(VI) from simulated groundwater. Nearly 100% removal of U(VI) (initial U = 25 mg/L) was achieved using CMC-stabilized ZVI (Fe = 35 mg/L) at pH 6. In pH range of 6–9, the lower pH favored the reaction. CMC-ZVI nanoparticles presented better deliverability than starch-ZVI, while bare ZVI nanoparticles was almost trapped in the soil column. CMC-ZVI worked effectively in the presence of a model humic acid (up to 10 mg/L as TOC) and bicarbonate (1 mM), though higher dosages of the ligands inhibited U(VI) removal. After treatment, no re-mobilization of U was detected when aged for 6 months under anoxic conditions and the addition of strong ligands only remobilized U(VI). When exposed to oxic conditions, the immobilized U will be partially oxidized and remobilized due to the ingress of atmospheric O2 and CO2. In terms of toxicity reduction, the ZVI treated U had almost no inhibition for natural bacteria activity, while dissolved U(VI) showed significant inhibitive effects. The CMC-ZVI nanoparticles may serve as effective reactive materials to facilitate immobilization of U(VI) in groundwater, which in turn can greatly mitigate the human exposure and toxic effects of U on biota.
Interactions between graphene oxide (GO) and cell membranes play a crucial role in the nanotoxicity of GO toward organisms. However, little is known about interactions of GO with lipid membranes in the presence of heavy metals. This study investigated the attachment of GO and adsorption of heavy metals onto simulated cell membranes (spherical supported lipid bilayers, SSLBs) formed by cationic, neutral and anionic lipids, i.e., SSLB(+), SSLB(0) and SSLB(−), using batch experiments, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, and spectroscopic analyses. In the binary systems, the SSLBs bind with GO through hydrogen binding and with heavy metals via complexation. The attachment of GO or adsorption of heavy metals onto SSLBs decreased in the order SSLB(−) > SSLB(0) > SSLB(+), largely controlled by the type and number of functional groups in the SSLBs. Evidence from batch experiments, DFT calculations and spectroscopic analyses confirmed that in the ternary system GO first binds with metals, and then the GO–metal complexes attach to SSLBs via hydrogen bonding through GO rather than cation bridging through metals. Moreover, metal adsorption onto GO strengthens hydrogen bonding by withdrawing electrons from the GO surface. Therefore, in the ternary system, heavy metals promoted the GO attachment to SSLBs. However, GO suppressed the adsorption of heavy metals onto SSLBs by blocking the adsorption sites via steric hindrance. This study highlighted the importance of molecular interactions on assessing the nanotoxicity of GO to cells in the coexistence of heavy metals.
Photocatalytic nitrogen fixation represents a green alternative to the conventional Haber–Bosch process in the conversion of nitrogen to ammonia. In this study, a series of Bi5O7Br nanostructures were synthesized via a facile, low-temperature thermal treatment procedure, and their photocatalytic activity toward nitrogen fixation was evaluated and compared. Spectroscopic measurements showed that the tubular Bi5O7Br sample prepared at 40 °C (Bi5O7Br-40) exhibited the highest electron-transfer rate among the series, producing a large number of O2.– radicals and oxygen vacancies under visible-light photoirradiation and reaching a rate of photocatalytic nitrogen fixation of 12.72 mM·g–1·h–1 after 30 min of photoirradiation. The reaction dynamics was also monitored by in situ infrared measurements with a synchrotron radiation light source, where the transient difference between signals in the dark and under photoirradiation was analyzed and the reaction pathway of nitrogen fixation was identified. This was further supported by results from density functional theory calculations. The reaction energy of nitrogen fixation was quantitatively estimated and compared by building oxygen-enriched and anoxic models, where the change in the oxygen vacancy concentration was found to play a critical role in determining the nitrogen fixation performance. Results from this study suggest that Bi5O7Br with rich oxygen vacancies can be used as a high-performance photocatalyst for nitrogen fixation.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have emerged as a major concern in aquatic systems worldwide due to their widespread applications and health concerns. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is one of the most-detected PFAS. Yet, a cost-effective technology has been lacking for the degradation of PFAS due to their resistance to conventional treatment processes. To address this challenge, we prepared a novel adsorptive photocatalyst, referred to Fe/TNTs@AC, based on low-cost commercial activated carbon (AC) and TiO2. The composite material exhibited synergistic adsorption and photocatalytic activity and enabled a novel “concentrate-&-destroy” strategy for rapid and complete degradation of PFOA in water. Fe/TNTs@AC was able to adsorb PFOA within a few minutes, thereby effectively concentrating the target contaminant on the photoactive sites. Subsequently, Fe/TNTs@AC was able to degrade >90% of PFOA that was preconcentrated on the solid in 4 h under UV irradiation (254 nm, 21 mW cm‒2), of which 62% was completely mineralized to F−. The efficient photodegradation also regenerated Fe/TNTs@AC, eliminating the need for expensive chemical regenerants, and after six cycles of adsorption/photodegradation, the material showed no significant drop in adsorption capacity or photocatalytic activity. Simulations based on the density functional theory (DFT) revealed that Fe/TNTs@AC adsorbs PFOA in the side-on parallel mode, facilitating the subsequent photocatalytic degradation of PFOA. According to the DFT analysis, scavenger tests, and analysis of degradation intermediates, PFOA decomposition is initiated by direct hole oxidation, which activates the molecule and leads to a series of decarboxylation, C–F bond cleavage, and chain shortening reactions. The innovative “concentrate-&-destroy” strategy may significantly advance conventional adsorption or photochemical treatment of PFAS-contaminated water and holds the potential to degrade PFOA, and potentially other PFAS, more cost-effectively.
In this work, a novel strategy for building single-atom silver-induced amorphous graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) with a hollow tubular morphology is developed. By forming a tubular supramolecular gel, silver is successfully isolated by the nitrogen atoms in both melamine and nitrate anions, impeding agglomeration in the subsequent thermal polymerization. The high density of single-atom-dispersed silver (atomic ratio up to 11.6%) selectively breaks the hydrogen bonds in layered g-C3N4, leading to a fully amorphous structure. Silver-induced full amorphization not only enhances the visible light absorption of g-C3N4 but also accelerates charge transfer, endowing the as-prepared photocatalyst having the optimal silver content with 52 times higher surface area specific naproxen (NPX) removal activity than pure g-C3N4. Both density functional theory (DFT) calculations and steric effects are applied to explain the degradation pathway of NPX. The toxicity of NPX is reduced by sufficient irradiation. This work provides useful insights into the design and morphology control of single metal ion-dispersed g-C3N4 for environmental applications.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is widely used as a visible-light-driven photocatalyst but limited by the rapid photoexcited electron-hole pairs recombination rate. To promote the photocatalytic activity of g-C3N4, a class of heterojunction photocatalysts, perovskite-type sodium niobate (NaNbO3) nanorods modified g-C3N4 (SNCN), was fabricated through a two-step hydrothermal and thermal polymerization method in this study. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) demonstrated the successful decoration of NaNbO3 onto g-C3N4, as well as the formation of material interface with high reactivity. The optimal material (SNCN-3) exhibited an extremely high degradation efficiency of ofloxacin (OFL) under simulated solar light, as the kinetic rate constant (k) was 29.6 and 10.4 times of that for the neat g-C3N4 and NaNbO3, respectively. Energy band structure analysis indicated that SNCN-3 was a type II heterojunction. Moreover, surface photovoltage (SPV), photoluminescence (PL) and transient photocurrent response measurements confirmed SNCN-3 had the highest electron-hole separation efficiency compared with NaNbO3, g-C3N4 and the other SNCN composites. Quenching tests indicated that O2– and holes were the primary reactive species for OFL degradation. Density functional theory (DFT) calculation on further revealed the atoms of OFL with high Fukui index (f 0) preferred to be attacked by the produced radicals. Cleavage of piperazine moiety and substitution of F were the key OFL degradation pathways. In addition, the reduced toxicity of transformation products after photocatalysis verified the proposed technique was a green method. This work provided the promising application of g-C3N4/NaNbO3 heterojunction photocatalysts for degradation of antibiotic pollutants in water.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have been widely detected in ecosystems. However, effective water purification technologies for PPCPs degradation are lacking. In this work, an active activated carbon fiber supported titanate nanotubes (TNTs@ACF) composite was synthesized via one-step hydrothermal process, which was applied for adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of PPCPs under simulated solar light. Characterizations indicated that the successful grafting of TNTs onto ACF was achieved and surface modification occurred. Diclofenac (DCF, a model PPCPs) was rapidly adsorbed onto TNTs@ACF, and subsequently photodegraded (98.8 %) under solar light within 2 h. TNTs@ACF also performed well over a wide range of pH, and was resistant to humic acid. The good adsorption and photocatalytic activity of TNTs@ACF was attributed to the well-defined hybrid structure, enabling corporative adsorption of DCF by TNTs and ACF, and extending the light absorbance to visible region. Furthermore, the description of degradation pathway and evaluation of ecotoxicity for DCF and its intermediates/byproduct were proposed based on experimental analysis, density functional theory (DFT) calculation and quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) analysis, respectively, indicating the photocatalytic degradation of DCF can offer the step-by-step de-toxicity. Our study is expected to offer new strategy as “pre-accumulation and in-situ destruction” for environmental application.
Electrokinetic remediation is an effective technology for soil contaminated with heavy metals. However, little is known about the fate of antibiotic resistance in the process under heavy metal stress, since antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are widely distributed and can be co-selected with heavy metals. This study focused on antibiotic resistant bacteria and ARGs over different remediation periods (1, 2, and 5 days), voltages (0.4 and 0.8 V cm−1), and initial concentrations (250–1,000 mg kg−1 for Cu, and 1,000–3,000 mg kg−1 for Zn). The application of polarity-reversal maintained a suitable pH, eliminating possible negative effects on soil quality. In addition to a decrease in total metals, the speciation was modified as residual forms decreased while reactive forms increased. Compared with anti-oxytetracycline bacteria, anti-sulfamethoxazole bacteria were more resistant to the electric field, which might be ascribed to greater constraints on their resistance enzymes. The presence of heavy metals accelerated the spread of ARGs, with a 2.67-fold increase for tetG, and a 3.86-fold increase for sul1. Among the ARGs studied, tetM and tetW, as well as sul genes were more easily removed than tetC and tetG genes. Finally, a significant correlation was found between ARGs and Cu, consistent with the relatively stronger toxicity of Cu and its high potential to induce the SOS response. This study advances the understanding of how electrokinetics influences antibiotic resistance in soil with heavy metals, which has important implications for the simultaneous control of these pollutants in soil.
Organic Matter (OM) with different molecular weight and functional groups can impact the adsorptive removal of metal ions, and the influence trend can be facilitated, inhibited or unchanged. However, the association capabilities of different ligands were superficially expounded. Based on the sorption behavior of Cr(III) onto titanate nanotubes (TNTs) with coexisting citric acid (CA), humic acid (HA) and fulvic acid (FA), this study highlighted differential absorbance and DFT simulations to quantitatively detect the mutual effect. As results, adsorption capacities of Cr(III) obviously enhanced from ca. 60 mg/g to 85 mg/g with CA or FA; while HA can slightly promote Cr(III) adsorption. UV spectra scanning proved that FA and HA led to the remarkable red shift of peak A1 (232 nm), A2 (262 nm), A3 (295 nm), A4 (431 nm) of Cr(III), and the area ratio of A2/A3 followed the order Cr-HA > Cr-FA > Cr-CA ≈ Cr. DFT calculations further confirmed that the simultaneous formation of ligand-metal-adsorbents complex and electrostatic effect promoted Cr(III) adsorption, with binding energies of −202.9 −420.8 kJ/mol and − 3958 kJ/mol, respectively. Meanwhile, the bridge connection of OM mainly appeared in the outer sphere of TNTs, as the larger molecular scale prevented their insertion into the inner spacing of TNTs, especially for HA and FA. Therefore, the adsorption mechanism was the combined actions of electrostatic attraction, bridge connection of OM and steric effect. This study can give insights into OM effects on metal adsorption, and quantificationally describe the junction state of ternary complex.
Up to now, titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the most established semiconductor photocatalyst, which is used to achieve photocatalytic H2 evolution, pollutants degradation, CO2 reduction, and N2 reduction under UV light irradiation. TiO2 as photocatalyst is always under the spotlight due to its unique properties like outstanding thermal/chemical stability, wide bandgap with suitable band edge, low cost, non-toxicity, and corrosion resistance. To further improve the photocatalytic activity of TiO2, the versatile and porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can be introduced to constructionTiO2/MOF composites, which can accomplish the enhanced light absorption performance and improved electron-hole pair separation. With this review, the fabrication strategies, characterizations techniques, photocatalytic activities and the mechanisms of some selected TiO2/MOF composites were reviewed and highlighted. The last but not the least, the outlooks and challenges of TiO2/MOF composites as photocatalysts for energy conversion and environment remediation are proposed.
Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have recently been demonstrated to have great application potentials in water treatment. Their photocatalytic performance towards bacterial disinfection and organic pollutant degradation yet has seldom been investigated. In this study, AgI modified COFs (using 2,5-diaminopyridine and 1,3,5-triformylphloroglucinol as precursors) (COF-PD/AgI) were fabricated and their applications to photocatalytically disinfect bacteria and degrade organic pollutants were investigated. COF-PD/AgI exhibited effective photocatalytic performance towards Escherichia coli disinfection and organic pollutant (Rhodamine B and acetaminophen) degradation. SEM images were employed to investigate cell disinfection process, while theoretical density functional theory (DFT) calculation and intermediates determination were used to elucidate organic pollutant degradation processes. Scavenger experiments, ESR spectra and chemical probes experiments confirmed O2−, h+ and OH played important roles in the photocatalytic process. The formation of dual-band Z-scheme heterojunction improved photocatalytic performance. COF-PD/AgI remained high photocatalytic activity in the four consecutive cycles and could serve as a promising photocatalyst for water purification.