In the present study, titanium dioxide (TiO2) nano-photocatalysts were synthesized through microwave irradiation. In a typical microwave synthesis, TiO2 nanomaterials were simultaneously produced in powder form and also directly covering cork substrates. The TiO2 nanopowder was analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), revealing that the solvothermal microwave synthesis resulted only in the TiO2 anatase phase. From Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), cork’s organic species, along with bands of TiO2, were detected. UV–VIS absorption spectrum revealed an absorption extension to the visible region, since a brown powdered TiO2 product was obtained. Very fine nanoparticles were observed displaying a nearly spherical shape that agglomerates in larger particles. These larger particles fully covered the surface of the honeycomb cork cells, originating TiO2 functionalized cork platforms. The TiO2 functionalized substrates were further tested as floating photocatalysts and their photocatalytic activity was assessed from rhodamine B degradation under solar simulating light and natural sunlight. Reusability tests were also performed under natural sunlight. The strategy applied in this research work allowed the production of green and low-cost cork platforms based on TiO2 photoactive materials with the ability to purify polluted water under natural sunlight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9645
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2022


  • cork
  • floating catalysts
  • microwave synthesis
  • photocatalysis
  • TiO
  • water purification


Dive into the research topics of 'Floating TiO2-Cork Nano-Photocatalysts for Water Purification Using Sunlight'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this