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Eco-friendly innovations transform the battle against toxic dyes


Nanotechnology

Eco-friendly innovations battle toxic dyes

The increasing problem of water pollution due to industrial dyes necessitates eco-friendly solutions. As a result, scientists and industries are actively seeking alternative approaches that meet environmental standards.

Flinders University researchers created a technique to remove harmful chemical compounds, like azo dyes, from industrial waste using chemical photocatalysis energized by UV light.

Professor Gunther Andersson from the Flinders Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology is heading this research. The goal is to create small metal structures made of nine gold (Au) atoms attached to surfaces of titanium dioxide. When these elements are exposed to UV light, they trigger a series of reactions that break down toxic substances.

In his explanation of the procedure, Professor Andersson said that the titanium dioxide's photocatalytic activity is enhanced by the gold nanocluster cocatalysts, which also cut the reaction's time to completion in half. This discovery, which demonstrates the effectiveness and promise of this novel strategy, was just published in the journal Solar RRL.

Heterogeneous semiconductor-mediated photocatalysis is a strong alternative to traditional chemical methods for purifying water. It breaks down organic contaminants into harmless carbon dioxide and water, making it especially useful for complex compounds like azo dyes.

Chemical companies release harmful dyes into the water, causing environmental damage. Advanced solutions are needed because these dyes, like methyl orange, are non-biodegradable and a big part of the pollution.

The Flinders University team demonstrated the potential of their photocatalysis systems by using modified semiconductors and a gold cocatalyst to break down methyl orange. Tests conducted with a specialized apparatus developed by Professor Colin Raston's nanotechnology department were published in Applied Surface Science.


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