• Sieve-Like CNT Film Coupled with TiO 2 Nanowire for High-Performance Continuous-Flow Photodegradation of Rhodamine B under Visible Light Irradiation

      Yang, Zhengpeng; email: zhengpengyang2013@163.com; Lv, Xiaoting; email: 18339113590@163.com; Liu, Xuqing; orcid: 0000-0001-5998-6546; email: xuqing.liu@manchester.ac.uk; Jia, Shengmin; email: smjia2019@sinano.ac.cn; Zhang, Yongyi; email: yyzhang2011@sinano.ac.cn; Yu, Yingying; orcid: 0000-0002-6364-2831; email: yyyu2019@sinano.ac.cn; Zhang, Chunjing; email: chunjingzhang2013@163.com; Liu, Dandan; email: ddliu2015@sinano.ac.cn (MDPI, 2021-05-19)
      Continuous-flow photoreactors hold great promise for the highly efficient photodegradation of pollutants due to their continuity and sustainability. However, how to enable a continuous-flow photoreactor with the combined features of high photodegradation efficiency and durability as well as broad-wavelength light absorption and large-scale processing remains a significant challenge. Herein, we demonstrate a facile and effective strategy to construct a sieve-like carbon nanotube (CNT)/TiO2 nanowire film (SCTF) with superior flexibility (180° bending), high tensile strength (75–82 MPa), good surface wettability, essential light penetration and convenient visible light absorption. Significantly, the unique architecture, featuring abundant, well-ordered and uniform mesopores with ca. 70 µm in diameter, as well as a homogenous distribution of TiO2 nanowires with an average diameter of ca. 500 nm, could act as a “waterway” for efficient solution infiltration through the SCTF, thereby, enabling the photocatalytic degradation of polluted water in a continuous-flow mode. The optimized SCTF-2.5 displayed favorable photocatalytic behavior with 96% degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) within 80 min and a rate constant of 0.0394 min−1. The continuous-flow photodegradation device made using SCTF-2.5 featured exceptional photocatalytic behavior for the continuous degradation of RhB under simulated solar irradiation with a high degradation ratio (99.6%) and long-term stability (99.2% retention after working continuously for 72 h). This work sheds light on new strategies for designing and fabricating high-performance continuous-flow photoreactors toward future uses.