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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Enhancing the Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylene Blue with Graphene Oxide-Encapsulated g-C3N4/ZnO Ternary Composites

Shakoor, Muhammad Hassan; Shakoor, Muhammad Bilal; Jilani, Asim; Ahmed, Toheed; Rizwan, Muhammad; Dustgeer, Mohsin Raza; Iqbal, Javed; Zahid, Muhammad; Yong, Jean Wan Hong


Methylene blue (MB) is a toxic contaminant present in wastewater. Here, we prepared various composites of graphene oxide (GO) with graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) and zinc oxide (ZnO) for the degradation of MB. In comparison to ZnO (22.9%) and g-C3N4/ZnO (76.0%), the ternary composites of GO/g-C3N4/ZnO showed 90% photocatalytic degradation of MB under a light source after 60 min. The experimental setup and parameters were varied to examine the process and effectiveness of MB degradation. Based on the results of the experiments, a proposed photocatalytic degradation process that explains the roles of GO, ZnO, and g-C3N4 in improving the photocatalytic efficacy of newly prepared GO/g-C3N4/ZnO was explored. Notably, the g-C3N4/ZnO nanocomposite's surface was uniformly covered with ZnO nanorods. The images of the samples clearly demonstrated the porous nature of GO/g-C3N4/ZnO photocatalysts, and even after being mixed with GO, the g-C3N4/ZnO composite retained the layered structure of the original material. The catalyst's porous structure plausibly enhanced the degradation of the contaminants. The high-clarity production of g-C3N4 and the effectiveness of the synthesis protocol were later validated by the absence of any trace contamination in the energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) results. The composition of the ZnO elements and their spectra were revealed by the EDS results of the prepared ZnO nanorods, g-C3N4/ZnO, and GO/g-C3N4/ZnO. The outcomes indicated that the nanocomposites were highly uncontaminated and contained all necessary elements to facilitate the transformative process. The results of this experiment could be applied at a large scale, thus proving the effectiveness of photocatalysts for the removal of dyes.

Published in

ACS Omega
2024, Volume: 9, number: 14, pages: 16187-16195

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Polymer Chemistry
    Environmental Sciences

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