Enhanced visible-light-driven photocatalytic inactivation of Escherichia coli using g-C3N4/TiO2 hybrid photocatalyst synthesized using a hydrothermal-calcination approach
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Biohazards are widely present in wastewater, and contaminated water can arouse various waterborne diseases. Therefore, effectively removing biohazards from water is a worldwide need. In this study, a novel visible-light-driven (VLD) graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4)/TiO2 hybrid photocatalyst with high photocatalytic bacterial inactivation activity was successfully synthesized using a facile hydrothermal-calcination approach. The optimum synthesized hybrid photocatalyst is composed of micron-sized TiO2 spheres (average diameter: ca. 2 μm) and wrapped with lamellar g-C3N4 (thickness: ca. 2 nm), with narrowing bandgap (ca. 2.48 eV), leading to a significant improvement of visible light (VL) absorption and effective separation of photo-generated electron–hole pairs. This greatly enhances VL photocatalytic inactivation activity towards bacteria in water. Using this hybrid photocatalyst, 107 cfu mL−1 of Escherichia coli K-12 could be completely inactivated within 180 min under VL irradiation. SEM images indicate that bacterial cells were greatly damaged, leading to a severe leakage of intracellular components during photocatalytic inactivation processes. The study concludes that bacterial cell destruction and water disinfection can be achieved using this newly fabricated VLD hybrid photocatalyst.
Environmental Marine Biotechnology