Bi/SnO2/TiO2-graphene nanocomposite photocatalyst for solar visible light-induced photodegradation of pentachlorophenol

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Mar;28(12):15236-15247. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-11708-w. Epub 2020 Nov 24.


In this study, for the first time, a TiO2/graphene (G) heterostructure was synthesized and doped by Bi and SnO2 nanoparticles through a hydrothermal treatment. The as-synthesized nanocomposite was employed for photocatalytic degradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) under visible light irradiation. Structural characterizations such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD) proved the valence band alignment at Bi/SnO2/TiO2-G interfaces and crystallinity of the nanocomposite, respectively. The as-developed nanocomposite photocatalyst was able to decompose 84% PCP, thanks to the generation of a large number of active OH•- and O2•- radicals. To achieve this optimum photodegradation efficiency, various parameters such as pH, catalyst dosage, and PCP concentration were optimized. The results showed that the PCP photodegradation process followed the first-order kinetic model and the reaction rate constant rose from 0.007 min-1 (Bi) to 0.0149 min-1 (Bi/SnO2/TiO2-G). The PCP photodegradation efficiency did not decrease significantly after 5 cycles, and the nanocomposite photocatalyst still showed a high efficiency of 68% in the last cycle. The excellent photocatalytic activity of Bi/SnO2/TiO2-G is ascribed as well as the heterostructure of the nanocomposite photocatalyst.

Keywords: Advanced oxidation processes; Reusability; Solar photocatalysis; Water treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Graphite*
  • Light
  • Nanocomposites*
  • Pentachlorophenol*
  • Photolysis
  • Titanium


  • titanium dioxide
  • Graphite
  • Titanium
  • Pentachlorophenol