Acetic acid-assisted fabrication of hierarchical flower-like Bi2O3 for photocatalytic degradation of sulfamethoxazole and rhodamine B under solar irradiation

Yueping Bao, Teik Thye Lim, Ziyi Zhong, Rong Wang, Xiao Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


With the assistance of acetic acid (CH3COOH), a novel 3D flower-like Bi2O3 was synthesized via hydrothermal process followed by calcination. For the first time, the role of CH3COOH as a capping agent in the formation of flower-like structure was investigated. The as-prepared flower-like Bi2O3 had a high activity on the degradation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX) under simulated solar light irradiation due to the narrow band gap of 2.69 eV, high percentage of β-Bi2O3 as well as high intensity of polar facets (1 2 0) and (2 0 0). Meanwhile, the photocatalytic degradation followed apparent pseudo-first-order kinetics. The rate constant (k) increased from 0.7 × 10−2 to 3.0 × 10−2 min−1 with the catalyst loading varying from 0.5 to 2.0 g L−1. Increasing pH values from 3 to 11 led to the decrease of k from 2.2 × 10−2 to 0.2 × 10−2 min−1, which could be attributed to the electrostatic adsorption between SMX molecules and Bi2O3. The radical quenching experiments showed both direct (h+) and indirect oxidation (OH and O2 -) happened in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-499
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetic acid
  • Degradation mechanism
  • Flower-like BiO
  • Growth mechanism
  • Photocatalytic activity


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