Two exfoliated graphite/ZnO composites, marked as EG/ZnO-1 and EG/ZnO-2, were prepared by heating a mixture of expandable graphite and Zn(OH)2 or a mixture of expanded graphite (EG) and Zn(OH)2, respectively. The composites were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and nitrogen adsorption. Under UV irradiation, the composites were used for removing methyl blue (MB) from aqueous solution. For the composites made from expandable graphite (EG/ZnO-1), the micronsized ZnO particle agglomerates (1–20 𝜇m) heterogeneously distributed at the surface of graphite flakes, while for the composites made from EG (EG/ZnO-2), the submicron-sized ZnO particle masses (0.2–0.5 𝜇m) almost homogeneously located both at the surface and interior of graphite flakes. In the presence of UV irradiation, the composites had the adsorption capacity of EG and the photocatalysis capacity of ZnO at the same time. Compared with EG/ZnO-1, EG/ZnO-2 was more effective in removing MB. After 2 h of UV irradiation, MB could be completely removed by using the EG/ZnO-2 containing 45% ZnO, and the decomposition efficiency of the ZnO was the primary cause for the removal of MB.
Volume 43, 2020
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