In order to enhance the photodegradation of methyl orange (MO) by ZnO under visible light irradiation, ZnO nanoparticles co-doped with Ag and N and supported on activated carbon (AC) with different properties were synthesized through the sol-gel method. The prepared photocatalysts were characterized in terms of the structure and properties through X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption-desorption, ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, photoluminescence, and electron spin resonance. The photocatalytic activities of these photocatalysts followed the order: Ag-N-ZnO/ACs > Ag-N-ZnO > N, or Ag single-doped ZnO > commercial ZnO. This result was attributed to the small particle size, large surface area, narrow band gap, and high charge separation of Ag-N-ZnO/ACs. The Ag-N-ZnO/coconut husk activated carbon (Ag-N-ZnO/CHAC) exhibited the highest degradation efficiency of 98.82% for MO under visible light irradiation. This outcome was due to the abundant pore structure of Ag-N-ZnO/CHAC, resulting in stronger adsorption than that of other Ag-N-ZnO/ACs. Moreover, the degradation of MO on photocatalysis followed first order kinetics. The reactive species ·OH and ·O2− played more important roles in the photocatalytic degradation of MO over composite photocatalyst. Ag-N-ZnO/CHAC photocatalyst exhibited higher photocatalytic activity than unsupported Ag-N-ZnO after five recycling runs.
Chen, X., Wu, Z., Gao, Z., & Ye, B. C. (2017). Effect of different activated carbon as carrier on the photocatalytic activity of Ag-N-ZnO photocatalyst for methyl orange degradation under visible light irradiation. Nanomaterials, 7(9). https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7090258