Combining the Photocatalyst Pt/TiO2 and the Nonphotocatalyst SnPd/Al2O3 for Effective Photocatalytic Purification of Groundwater Polluted with Nitrate

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Graduate School of Environmental Science, Research Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Nishi 5, Kita 10, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
*E-mail: [email protected]. Tel/Fax:+81-11-706-2217.
Cite this: ACS Catal. 2014, 4, 7, 2207–2215
Publication Date (Web):May 28, 2014
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society
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We investigated photocatalytic reduction of NO3 in real groundwater in the presence of the photocatalyst Pt/TiO2 and the nonphotocatalyst SnPd/Al2O3, which were dispersed in the groundwater, under irradiation at λ > 300 nm, with glucose as a hole scavenger. In this system, photocatalytic H2 evolution (2H+ + 2e → H2) proceeded over Pt/TiO2, and nonphotocatalytic, that is, conventional catalytic, reduction of NO3 with H2 (NO3 + 5/2H2 → 1/2N2 + 2H2O + OH) occurred over SnPd/Al2O3. NO3 (1.0 mmol dm–3) in the groundwater completely and selectively decomposed to N2 (yield 83%) after 120 h with a 300 W Xe lamp (λ > 300 nm) over the Pt/TiO2–SnPd/Al2O3 system in combination with photooxidative pretreatment of the groundwater over Pt/TiO2 to decompose organic compounds. The decomposition rate of NO3 in the groundwater was still slower than that in an aqueous NO3 solution even after the pretreatment of the groundwater. The lower photocatalytic performance was due to poisoning of Pt/TiO2 with sulfate and silicate ions and poisoning of SnPd/Al2O3 with polymerized silicate ions. On the other hand, cations, including Na+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+, in the groundwater did not affect the photocatalytic and catalytic performances of the system. Sulfate ions adsorbed on the Pt sites on Pt/TiO2, where H2 evolution occurs, and silicate ions deactivated the oxidation sites on TiO2 by reacting with the surface hydroxyl groups, leading to a decline in the photocatalytic performance of Pt/TiO2.

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Time courses for the photocatalytic reduction of NO3, influence of pH on the photocatalytic reduction of NO3, and dependences of concentrations of glucose and AgNO3 on the rates of H2 and O2 evolutions, respectively, as mentioned in the text. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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