skip to main content

Title: A study of TiO 2 nanocrystal growth and environmental remediation capability of TiO 2 /CNC nanocomposites
Nanocellulose, which can be derived from any cellulosic biomass, has emerged as an appealing nanoscale scaffold to develop inorganic–organic nanocomposites for a wide range of applications. In this study, titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) nanocrystals were synthesized in the cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) scaffold using a simple approach, i.e. , hydrolysis of a titanium oxysulfate precursor in a CNC suspension at low temperature. The resulting TiO 2 nanoparticles exhibited a narrow size range between 3 and 5 nm, uniformly distributed on and strongly adhered to the CNC surface. The structure of the resulting nanocomposite was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods. The growth mechanism of TiO 2 nanocrystals in the CNC scaffold was also investigated by solution small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), where the results suggested the mineralization process could be described by the Lifshitz–Slyozov–Wagner theory for Ostwald ripening. The demonstrated TiO 2 /CNC nanocomposite system exhibited excellent performance in dye degradation and antibacterial activity, suitable for a wide range of environmental remediation applications.
; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
RSC Advances
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
40565 to 40576
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Cobalt( ii ) ions were adsorbed to the surface of rod-shape anatase TiO 2 nanocrystals and subsequently heated to promote ion diffusion into the nanocrystal. After removal of any remaining surface bound cobalt, a sample consisting of strictly cobalt-doped TiO 2 was obtained and characterized with powder X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, SQUID magnetometry, and inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. The nanocrystal morphology was unchanged in the process and no new crystal phases were detected. The concentration of cobalt in the doped samples linearly correlates with the initial loading of cobalt( ii ) ions on the nanocrystal surface. Thin films of the cobalt doped TiO 2 nanocrystals were prepared on indium-tin oxide coated glass substrate, and the electrical conductivity increased with the concentration of doped cobalt. Magnetic measurements of the cobalt-doped TiO 2 nanocrystals reveal paramagnetic behavior at room temperature, and antiferromagnetic interactions between Co ions at low temperatures. Antiferromagnetism is atypical for cobalt-doped TiO 2 nanocrystals, and is proposed to arise from interstitial doping that may be favored by the diffusional doping mechanism.
  2. Electrochemical oxidation of water and electrolyte ions is a sustainable method for producing energy carriers and valuable chemicals. Among known materials for catalyzing oxidation reactions, titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) offers excellent electrochemical stability but is less active than many other metal oxides. Herein, we used density functional theory calculations to predict an increase in catalytic activity by doping anatase TiO 2 with manganese atoms (Mn). We synthesized Mn-doped TiO 2 and then utilized X-ray absorption spectroscopy to study the chemical environment around the Mn site in the TiO 2 crystal structure. Our electrochemical experiments confirmed that TiO 2 , with the optimal amount of Mn, reduces the onset potential by 260 mV in a 2 M KHCO 3 (pH = ∼8) electrolyte and 370 mV in a 0.5 M H 2 SO 4 (pH = ∼0.5) electrolyte. Moreover, in 0.5 M H 2 SO 4 , we observed that the amount of Mn doping greatly impacts the selectivity towards oxygen production versus peroxysulfate formation. In 2 M KHCO 3 , the Mn doping of TiO 2 slightly decreases the selectivity towards oxygen production and increases the hydrogen peroxide formation. The Mn-doped TiO 2 shows good electrochemical stability for overmore »24 hours in both electrolytes.« less
  3. The recalcitrance of some emerging organic contaminants through conventional water treatment systems may necessitate advanced technologies that use highly reactive, non-specific hydroxyl radicals. Here, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers with embedded titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) nanoparticles were synthesized via electrospinning and subsequently carbonized to produce mechanically stable carbon/TiO 2 (C/TiO 2 ) nanofiber composite filters. Nanofiber composites were optimized for reactivity in flow through treatment systems by varying their mass loading of TiO 2 , adding phthalic acid (PTA) as a dispersing agent for nanoparticles in electrospinning sol gels, comparing different types of commercially available TiO 2 nanoparticles (Aeroxide® P25 and 5 nm anatase nanoparticles) and through functionalization with gold (Au/TiO 2 ) as a co-catalyst. High bulk and surface TiO 2 concentrations correspond with enhanced nanofiber reactivity, while PTA as a dispersant makes it possible to fabricate materials at very high P25 loadings (∼80% wt%). The optimal composite formulation (50 wt% P25 with 2.5 wt% PTA) combining high reactivity and material stability was then tested across a range of variables relevant to filtration applications including filter thickness (300–1800 μm), permeate flux (from 540–2700 L m −2 h), incident light energy (UV-254 and simulated sunlight), flow configuration (dead-end and cross-flow filtration),more »presence of potentially interfering co-solutes (dissolved organic matter and carbonate alkalinity), and across a suite of eight organic micropollutants (atrazine, benzotriazole, caffeine, carbamazepine, DEET, metoprolol, naproxen, and sulfamethoxazole). During cross-flow recirculation under UV-irradiation, 300 μm thick filters (30 mg total mass) produced micropollutant half-lives ∼45 min, with 40–90% removal (from an initial 0.5 μM concentration) in a single pass through the filter. The initial reaction rate coefficients of micropollutant transformation did not clearly correlate with reported second order rate coefficients for reaction with hydroxyl radical ( k OH ), implying that processes other than reaction with photogenerated hydroxyl radical ( e.g. , surface sorption) may control the overall rate of transformation. The materials developed herein represent a promising next-generation filtration technology that integrates photocatalytic activity in a robust platform for nanomaterial-enabled water treatment.« less
  4. Bacterial cellulose nanocrystals (BCNCs) are biocompatible cellulose nanomaterials that can host guest nanoparticles to form hybrid nanocomposites with a wide range of applications. Herein, we report the synthesis of a hybrid nanocomposite that consists of plasmonic gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and superparamagnetic iron oxide (Fe 3 O 4 ) nanoparticles supported on BCNCs. As a proof of concept, the hybrid nanocomposites were employed to isolate and detect malachite green isothiocyanate (MGITC) via magnetic separation and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Different initial gold precursor (Au 3+ ) concentrations altered the size and morphology of the AuNPs formed on the nanocomposites. The use of 5 and 10 mM Au 3+ led to a heterogenous mix of spherical and nanoplate AuNPs with increased SERS enhancements, as compared to the more uniform AuNPs formed using 1 mM Au 3+ . Rapid and sensitive detection of MGITC at concentrations as low as 10 −10 M was achieved. The SERS intensity of the normalized Raman peak at 1175 cm −1 exhibited a log-linear relationship for MGITC concentrations between 2 × 10 −10 and 2 × 10 −5 M for Au@Fe 3 O 4 @BCNCs. These results suggest the potential of these hybrid nanocomposites for application in amore »broad range of analyte detection strategies.« less
  5. Nanoporous bimetallic Fe–Ag nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized using a facile chemical reduction method and used to decorate the surface of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for hydrogen sorption and storage. The effect of TiO 2 nanoparticles on the hydrogen storage properties of Fe–Ag/CNTs was further studied in detail. For this purpose, several nanocomposites of nanoporous bimetallic Fe–Ag/TiO 2 nanoparticles with different amounts of bimetallic Fe–Ag NPs were prepared via a hydrothermal method. The hydrogen storage capacity of the as-prepared nanocomposites was studied using electrochemical methods. The Fe–Ag/TiO 2 /CNT nanocomposite with 0.04 M bimetallic Fe–Ag NPs showed the highest capacity for hydrogen storage, which was ∼5× higher than that of pristine MWCNTs. The maximum discharge capacity was 2931 mA h g −1 , corresponding to a 10.94 wt% hydrogen storage capacity. Furthermore, a 379% increase in discharge capacity was measured after 20 cycles. These results show that Fe–Ag/TiO 2 /CNT electrodes display superior cycling stability and high reversible capacity, which is attractive for battery applications.