A new titanium/molybdenum/mixed-oxides (TMO) contact-type heterojunction photocatalyst was prepared by a simple, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly mixing-calcination solid-state method. A microstructural investigation by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showsirregularly shaped agglomerated morphology of TMO that consists of firmly connected globular TiO2 and rod-like MoO3 particles. The detailed structure and optical bandgap investigation by X-ray diffraction, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy revealed the TMO’s composition of ~37 wt.% rutile TiO2, ~25 wt.% of anatase TiO2, and ~38 wt.% of molybdite MoO3 phase and an absorption threshold of around 380 nm, which implies more probability of desirable higher visible light absorption. The removal efficiency of pesticides quinmerac (QUI) and tembotrione (TEM), and pharmaceuticals metoprolol (MET), amitriptyline (AMI), ciprofloxacin (CIP),and ceftriaxone (CEF) from water in the presence of starting pure TiO2, MoO3, and prepared TMO were investigated under different pH values and UV irradiation/simulated sunlight (SS). Each starting metal-oxide precursors and prepared TMO showed a different affinity for adsorption of tested pesticides and pharmaceuticals, and, in general, better photocatalytic degradation efficiency under UV irradiation than under simulated sunlight. The highest photocatalytic degradation efficiency under UV irradiation was 81.6% for TEM using TMO; using TiO2 was 65.0% for AMI, and using MoO3 was 79.3% for CEF after 135 min. However, TMO showed a very high synergic adsorption/photocatalytic under-SS efficiency in the removal of CIP of almost 80% and under UV irradiation of 90% CIP removal after 75 min. The toxicity of catalysts, starting compounds, and their intermediates formed during the removal process was assessed using a rat hepatoma cell line (H-4-II-E). The highest hepatotoxic effects were obtained by using UV irradiated QUI and MET suspension with TMO for up to 60 min.
Ključne reči: titanium and molybdenum oxide, photocatalytic degradation, toxicity assessment, environmental protection, pesticide and pharmaceutical water contaminants