Nanotechnology in environmental remediation: Degradation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over visible-light-active nanostructured materials

Rengaraj Selvaraj, Salma M Z Al-Kindy, Mika Silanpaa, Younghun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are major pollutants and are considered to be one of the most important contaminants generated by human beings living in urban and industrial areas. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a VOC that has been widely used as a gasoline additive to reduce VOC emissions from motor vehicles. However, new gasoline additives like MTBE are having negative environmental impacts. Recent survey reports clearly show that groundwater is often polluted owing to leakage of petroleum products from underground storage tanks. MTBE is highly soluble in water (e.g., 0.35-0.71 M) and has been detected at high concentrations in groundwater. The presence of MTBE in groundwater poses a potential health problem. The documented effects of MTBE exposure are headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cough, muscle aches, sleepiness, disorientation, dizziness, and skin and eye irritation. To address these problems, photocatalytic treatment is the preferred treatment for polluted water. In the present work, a simple and template-free solution phase synthesis method has been developed for the preparation of novel cadmium sulfide (CdS) hollow microspheres using cadmium nitrate and thioacetamide precursors. The synthesized products have been characterized by a variety of methods, including X-ray powder diffraction, high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and UV-visible diffused reflectance spectroscopy. The HR-SEM measurements revealed the spherical morphology of the CdS microspheres, which evolved by the oriented aggregation of the primary CdS nanocrystals. Furthermore, studies of photocatalytic activity revealed that the synthesized CdS hollow microspheres exhibit an excellent photocatalytic performance in rapidly degrading MTBE in aqueous solution under visible light illumination. These results suggest that CdS microspheres will be an interesting candidate for photocatalytic detoxification studies under visible light radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-112
Number of pages4
JournalReviews on Environmental Health
Volume29
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Volatile Organic Compounds
Nanotechnology
Nanostructures
nanotechnology
Cadmium sulfide
environmental damage
Volatile organic compounds
Nanostructured materials
Ethers
disorientation
Microspheres
Light
Degradation
water
Groundwater
pollutant
aggregation
motor vehicle
environmental impact
Gasoline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

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title = "Nanotechnology in environmental remediation: Degradation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over visible-light-active nanostructured materials",
abstract = "Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are major pollutants and are considered to be one of the most important contaminants generated by human beings living in urban and industrial areas. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a VOC that has been widely used as a gasoline additive to reduce VOC emissions from motor vehicles. However, new gasoline additives like MTBE are having negative environmental impacts. Recent survey reports clearly show that groundwater is often polluted owing to leakage of petroleum products from underground storage tanks. MTBE is highly soluble in water (e.g., 0.35-0.71 M) and has been detected at high concentrations in groundwater. The presence of MTBE in groundwater poses a potential health problem. The documented effects of MTBE exposure are headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cough, muscle aches, sleepiness, disorientation, dizziness, and skin and eye irritation. To address these problems, photocatalytic treatment is the preferred treatment for polluted water. In the present work, a simple and template-free solution phase synthesis method has been developed for the preparation of novel cadmium sulfide (CdS) hollow microspheres using cadmium nitrate and thioacetamide precursors. The synthesized products have been characterized by a variety of methods, including X-ray powder diffraction, high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and UV-visible diffused reflectance spectroscopy. The HR-SEM measurements revealed the spherical morphology of the CdS microspheres, which evolved by the oriented aggregation of the primary CdS nanocrystals. Furthermore, studies of photocatalytic activity revealed that the synthesized CdS hollow microspheres exhibit an excellent photocatalytic performance in rapidly degrading MTBE in aqueous solution under visible light illumination. These results suggest that CdS microspheres will be an interesting candidate for photocatalytic detoxification studies under visible light radiation.",
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