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Environmental Engineering Research 2012;17(4): 179-184. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2012.17.4.179
Control of Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether via Carbon-Doped Photocatalysts under Visible-Light Irradiation
Joon-Yeob Lee, and Wan-Kuen Jo
Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea
Corresponding Author: Wan-Kuen Jo ,Tel: +82-53-950-6584, Fax: +82-53-950-6579, Email: wkjo@knu.ac.kr
Received: August 24, 2012;  Accepted: October 23, 2012.
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The light absorbance of photocatalysts and reaction kinetics of environmental pollutants at the liquid-solid and gas-solid interfaces differ from each other. Nevertheless, many previous photocatalytic studies have applied the science to aqueopus applications without due consideration of the environment. As such, this work reports the surface and morphological characteristics and photocatalytic activities of carbon-embedded (C-TiO2) photocatalysts for control of gas-phase methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) under a range of different operational conditions. The C-TiO2 photocatalysts were prepared by oxidizing titanium carbide powders at 3500C. The characteristics of the C-TiO2 photocatalysts, along with pure TiC and the reference pure TiO2, were then determined by X-ray diffraction, scanning emission microscope, diffuse reflectance ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-VIS-NIR), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The C-TiO2 powders showed a clear shift in the absorbance spectrum towards the visible region, which indicated that the C-TiO2 photocatalyst could be activated effectively by visible-light irradiation. The MTBE decomposition efficiency depended on operational parameters, including the air flow rate (AFR), input concentration (IC), and relative humidity (RH). As the AFRs decreased from 1.5 to 0.1 L/min, the average efficiencies for MTBE increased from 11% to 77%. The average decomposition efficiencies for the ICs of 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 ppm were 77%, 77%, 54%, and 38%, respectively. In addition, the decomposition efficiencies for RHs of 20%, 45%, 70%, and 95% were 92%, 76%, 50%, and 32%, respectively. These findings indicate that the prepared photocatalysts could be effectively applied to control airborne MTBE if their operational conditions were optimized.
Keywords: Air flow rate | Input concentration | Relative humidity | Titanium carbide | Visible light
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