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Green one-step synthesis of cellulose nanocrystal/ ZnO nanohybrid with high photocatalytic activity

An Nang Vu, Anh Mai Tran, Nghi Tuyet Nguyen, Duyen My Ngoc Lam, Phong Pham Nam Le, Nhan Thuc Chi Ha, Hieu Van Le

Abstract: In this work, nanohybrid of zinc oxide/ cellulose nanocrystals (ZnO/CNC) was successfully prepared by using a low cost and green method for photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB). CNC had been derived through the hydrolysis reaction by citric/hydrochloric acid from the pure cellulose isolated from Vietnamese Nypa fruticans trunk. The obtained CNC with carboxyl groups could act as a stabilizing and supporting agent to anchor ZnO nanoparticles. The chemical and crystal structures, morphology, thermal and photocatalytic properties of the ZnO/CNC nanohybrid were characterized by FESEM, FTIR, XRD, FESEM, BET, EDX, TGA, DRS and photocatalytic tests. Analyses of FTIR spectra, XRD, and FESEM indicated that the ZnO nanocrystals with the size of 50 nm formed and loaded on the surface of CNC. The TGA analysis demonstrated that the ZnO loading sample (ZnO/CNC) had the thermal degradation onset temperature higher than that of neat CNC. ZnO/CNC cuold be absorpted ultraviolet light and have high value of specific surface area (SBET), based on the DRS spectra and the nitrogen adsorption – desorption isotherms analysis, respectively. ZnO/CNC displayed more photocatalytic activity than pure ZnO upon degradation of methylene blue due to strong interaction between the CNC and ZnO nanoparticles. The maximum degradation of MB was about 95% in 150 minutes for the ZnO/CNC.
Keywords: photocatalytic / ZnO/CNC / degradation of methylene blue / FESEM / nitrogen

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