Immobilization of titanium dioxide in crushed recycled glass for atrazine photo-degradation
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The release of toxic chemicals, as herbicides from agricultural activities is causing contamination of surface water by runoffs action after precipitation. This research studied the degradation of atrazine (herbicide) by a porous glass substrate, embedded with photo-catalytic titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles. Porous substrate was attained by sintering clear recycled glass cullets (MG-30) in a furnace at temperatures between 950ºC to 975ºC for 45 to 75 minutes. The TiO2 nanoparticles were deposited within or onto the glass substrate and immobilized by heat treatment. The polymorph phase of the immobilized TiO2 was analyzed after the heat treatment by x-ray diffraction (XRD). Also, a percolation and compressive strength were studied to evaluate the thermo-mechanical properties of the material. The experimental results demonstrated that the TiO2 immobilization was favored by sintering nanoparticles within the glass particles, under UV light exposure atrazine degradation capacity was low. On the other hand, the immobilization of the nanoparticles onto the surface increased after the heat treatment. In addition, the XRD analyses confirmed the anatase polymorph phase of the nanoparticles. For the deposition onto the glass substrate, atrazine degradation fell below detection limits after 12 h of UV light exposure with possible exhaustion of the TiO2 nanoparticles after 36 h of treatment. Finally, that percolation rate declined for longer sintering time and higher sintering temperature. Conversely, the compressive strength increases for similar sintering parameter changes.