Graphene-Coupled ZnO: A Robust NIR-Induced Catalyst for Rapid Photo-Oxidation of Cyanide

2017-12-18T18:35:50Z (GMT) by Gururaj M. Neelgund Aderemi Oki
Herein, we report the modulation of ZnO for enhancement of its ability toward plasmonic absorption of near-infrared (NIR) photons through coupling of graphene (GR). The reported modification led GR–ZnO to be a promising photocatalyst by the complete removal of poisonous and nonvolatile potassium cyanide from water. The photocatalytic degradation of cyanide was revealed by exposing it to NIR laser and comparing with the rate of UV, visible, and sunlight using their apparent reaction rate constants derived from the Langmuir–Hinshelwood model. The heteronanostructured GR–ZnO promoted rapid photo-oxidation of cyanide under illumination with NIR laser rather than UV, visible, and sunlight. It was assessed that the photothermal effect (PTE) is the main cause for higher catalytic efficiency of GR–ZnO in the presence of NIR radiations. Except for the NIR radiations, GR–ZnO does not show any indication of PTE by irradiating with UV, visible, or sunlight. On account of its significance, the PTE of GR–ZnO in KCN solution was evaluated and compared with its individual components viz., GR and ZnO upon exposure to a 980 nm laser system. Furthermore, it has been revealed that the PTE of GR–ZnO was proportional to its concentration. In addition to its effectiveness in the degradation of cyanide, GR–ZnO retained its special structure and exhibited an outstanding photostability after its repeated use in three successive cycles.