Vol 8, No 1 (2017) > Metalurgy and Material Engineering >

Preparation and Characterization of Fe3O4/SiO2/TiO2 Composite for Methylene Blue Removal in Water

Adel Fisli, Ridwan Ridwan, Yuni K. Krisnandi, Jarnuzi Gunlazuardi


Abstract: The
main problem with the slurry process is the difficulty in recovering the
photocatalyst nanoparticle from water following purification. An alternative
solution proposed the photocatalyst be immobilized on magnetic carriers, which
would allow them to be recollected from the water suspension following
treatment using an external magnetic field. Magnetically photocatalyst
composites were prepared using simple heteroagglomeration by applying
attractive electrostatic forces between the nanoparticles with an opposite
surface charge. The Fe3O4/SiO2/TiO2
photocatalysts were synthesized in an aqueous slurry solution containing Fe3O4/SiO2
and TiO2 nanoparticles under pH 5 conditions. Meanwhile, Fe3O4/SiO2
was prepared by a simple procedure via a coprecipitation of iron(II) and
iron(III) ion mixtures in ammonium hydroxide and was leached by sodium
silicate. The synthesized samples were investigated to determine the phase structure, the
magnetic properties, and the morphology of the composites by X-ray diffraction (XRD), vibrating
sample magnetometer (VSM), and transmission
electron microscopy (TEM), respectively. The results indicated that the composites contained anatase and rutile phases and exhibited a superparamagnetic behavior. Fe3O4/SiO2
particles, which were of the aggregation spherical form at 20 nm in size, were
successfully attached onto the TiO2 surface. The catalytic activity of Fe3O4/SiO2/TiO2
composites was evaluated for the degradation of methylene blue under
ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. The presence of SiO2 as a barrier
between Fe3O4 and TiO2 is not only improves
the photocatalytic properties but also provides the ability to adsorb the
properties on the composite. The Fe3O4/SiO2/TiO2
(50% containing TiO2 in composite) were able to eliminate 87.3% of
methylene blue in water through the adsorption and photocatalytic processes.
This result is slightly below pure TiO2, which is able to degrade
96% of methylene blue. The resulting Fe3O4/SiO2/TiO2 composite
exhibited an excellent ability to remove dye from water and it is easily
recollected using a magnetic bar from the water. Therefore, they have high
potency as an efficient and simple implementation for the dye effluent
decolorization of textile waste in slurry reactor processes.
Keywords: Composites; Magnetic photocatalysts; Methylene blue

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