Efficient visible light assisted photocatalysis using ZnO/TiO2 nanocomposites

Parveen Akhter, Shahid Nawaz, Iqrash Shafiq, Arif Nazir, Sumeer Shafique, Farrukh Jamil, Young Kwon Park, Murid Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Photocatalysis is an effective green technology for breaking down organic dyes in aqueous environments. TiO2 and ZnO have been widely explored for their use in photocatalysis because of their intrinsic properties, such as nontoxicity, stability, insolubility in water, high reactivity, and good photochemical properties. An effective binary composite ZnO/TiO2 photocatalyst were synthesized using the sol-gel approach employing titanium tetraisopropoxide (C12H28O4Ti) and zinc nitrate dihydrate [Zn(NO3)2·2H2O] as reagents. The photocatalytic effects of the produced samples were investigated using methylene blue when exposed to visible light. The size, shape, structure, phase composition, morphology, and optoelectronic properties of the materials were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis.) The parametric study revealed that an agitation rate of 1500 rpm, pH 4, 0.80 g/L catalyst loading, and 50 ppm of dye solution were the optimal conditions for the effective degradation reaction. Under the optimized reaction conditions, the novel ZnO/TiO2 nanocomposite catalyst exhibited up to 96% dye degradation. A plausible reaction mechanism for the photocatalytic dye degradation reaction was also proposed. Moreover, the reusability/cyclic stability and kinetic study of the synthesized photocatalysts are highlighted, revealing that the material is sufficiently stable for commercialization, and the mechanism follows a pseudo-first-order kinetic model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112896
JournalMolecular Catalysis
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2023


  • Methylene blue
  • Photodegradation
  • Titanium dioxide
  • ZnO/TiO nanocomposite


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