Methylene blue is a refractory pollutant commonly present in textile wastewater. This study tests the feasibility of TiO2/graphene oxide (GO) composite in enhancing photocatalytic degradation of MB in synthetic wastewater with respect to scientific and engineering aspects. To enhance its removal, we vary the composition of the composite based on the TiO2 weight. Under UV-vis irradiation, the effects of photocatalyst's dose, pH, and reaction time on MB removal by the composites are evaluated under optimum conditions, while any changes in their physico-chemical properties before and after treatment are analyzed by using TEM, SEM, XRD, FTIR and BET. The photodegradation pathways of the target pollutant by the composite and its removal mechanisms are also elaborated. It is found that the same composite with a 1:2 wt ratio of GO/TiO2 has the largest surface area of 104.51 m2/g. Under optimum reactions (0.2 g/L of dose, pH 10, and 5 mg/L of pollutant's concentration), an almost complete MB removal could be attained within 4 h. This result is higher than that of the TiO2 alone (30%) under the same conditions. Since the treated effluents could meet the strict discharge standard limit of ≤0.2 μg/L set by China's regulation, subsequent biological treatments are unnecessary for completing biodegradation of remaining oxidation by-products in the wastewater effluents.
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