VISIBLE RANGE PHOTOCATALYSTS FOR SOLID PHASE PHOTOCATALYTIC DEGRADATION OF POLYETHYLENE AND POLYVINYL CHLORIDE
Lakshmi, Y. N.
Victoria, S. Noyel
Solid phase photocatalytic degradation of polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with various photocatalysts such as ceria annealed at 350°C and 850°C, zinc oxide annealed at 250°C, copper sulfide and titania particles was studied under different light sources. Except titania, all the other photocatalysts performed reasonably well both in the visible and ultra-violet (UV) radiations. Ceria annealed at 850°C showed degradation efficiencies higher than 70% for PVC in the fluorescent and solar radiation. Ceria annealed at 350°C showed degradation efficiencies higher than 75% for polyethylene in fluorescent, solar and UV radiation. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies show the presence of adsorbed carbon dioxide on the degraded polymer- photocatalyst composite films. The UV-visible spectroscopic studies show that the ceria, zinc oxide and copper sulfide photocatalysts are active in the visible spectrum resulting in enhanced degradation efficiency in fluorescent and solar radiation.