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Visible light photocatalysts from low-grade iron ore: the environmentally benign production of magnetite/carbon (Fe3O4/C) nanocomposites

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Periyasamy, Muthaimanoj 
Sain, Sumanta 
Ghosh, Eliza 
Jenkinson, Kellie J 
Wheatley, Andrew EH 


Magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles coated with dextrose and gluconic acid possessing both super-paramagnetism and excellent optical properties have been productively synthesized through a straightforward, efficient and cost efficient hydrothermal reduction route using Fe3+ as sole metal precursor acquired from accumulated iron ore tailings - a mining waste that usually represents a major environmental threat. Fe3O4/C nanocomposites were fully elucidated by FEGSEM and TEM, revealing a combination of platelets (<1 µm) capped by particles (<10 nm) and magnetite was verified by XPS, which demonstrated also oxygen deficiency. A dextrose/gluconic acid coating was elucidated by Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The Fe3O4/C nanocomposites were found to be superparamagnetic at room temperature. Meanwhile, their optical properties were investigated by UV-visible Diffuse reflectance Spectroscopy (UV-vis DRS) and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy; an Eg of 1.86 eV was determined and emissions at 612 and 650 nm (ex. 250 nm) were consistent with the XPS identification of oxygen vacancies. The efficacy of the as-synthesized magnetically recoverable magnetite/carbon (Fe3O4/C) nanocomposites has been exhibited in the photocatalytic degradation of the toxic textile (industrial) dye bodactive red BNC-BS.



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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC


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