Textile industry emits daily huge amounts of sewage rich in non-biodegradable organic compounds, especially in textile dyes. Such contaminants are highly soluble in water, which makes their removal difficult. Other studies suggest their carcinogenicity, toxicity and mutagenicity. A promising chemical treatment of textile wastewater is the photodegradation of dye molecules in the process of photocatalysis in the presence of a photocatalyst. One-dimensional nanostructures exhibit a high surface-to-volume ratio and a quantum confinement effect, making them ideal candidates for nanophotocatalyst material. Nb2O5 is, among other metal oxides with a wide band gap, gaining popularity in optical applications, and electrospun niobium oxide nanostructures, despite their ease and low cost, can increase the chemical removal of textile dyes from wastewater. Facile synthesis of electrospun one-dimensional niobium oxide nanofibers is presented. The nanophotocatalysts morphology, structure, chemical bonds and optical properties were examined. Based on photodegradation of aqueous solutions (ph=6) of methylene blue and rhodamine B, the photocatalytic activity was established. The photocatalytic efficiency after 180 minutes of ultraviolet irradiation in the presence of Nb2O5 nanofibers was as follows: 84.9% and 31.8% for methylene blue and rhodamine B decolorization, respectively.
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