Tao, T, Glushenkov, AM, Chen, QY, Hu, HP, Zhou, D, Zhang, HZ, Boese, M, Liu, S, Amal, R, Chen, Y, Porous TiO2 with a controllable bimodal pore size distribution from natural ilmenite, CrystEngComm, 13, 5, 2011, 1322-1327
CrystEngComm; 13; 5;
Ilmenite (FeTiO3) is an inexpensive abundant natural mineral and it would be a perfect precursor for the production of porous TiO2 if a suitable synthesis method was developed. A new method combining a series of processing steps of ball milling, high-temperature annealing, selective chemical leaching and final calcining in air is proposed in this paper. The resulting TiO2 is a porous material with a bimodal pore structure. The pore size distribution has two clear maxima corresponding to small mesopores (2–30 nm) and large meso- and macropores (centered at around 50–80 nm). It was found that the duration of the annealing step could alter the contribution of each type of pores. A short annealing time (0.5 h) lead to the preferential formation of pores within 2–30 nm while pores centered at 50–80 nm dominated the pore size distribution after a relatively long annealing (1.5 h). The obtained porous rutile TiO2 shows a better photocatalytic activity than that of a commercial rutile TiO2 powder.
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