Photodegradation of phenol in the presence of tin dioxide (SnO2) nanoparticles under UV light irradiation is known to be an effective photocatalytic process. However, phenol degradation under solar light is less effective due to the large band gap of SnO2. In this study antimony (Sb) doped tin dioxide (SnO2) nanoparticles were prepared at a low temperature (80°C) by a sol-gel method and studied for its photocatalytic activity with phenol as a test contaminant. The catalytic degradation of phenol in aqueous media was studied using high performance liquid chromatography and total organic carbon measurements. The change in the concentration of phenol affects the pH of the solution due to the by-products formed during the photo-oxidation of phenol. The photoactivity of SnO2:Sb was found to be a maximum for 0.6 wt.% Sb doped SnO2 nanoparticles with 10 mg L-1 phenol in water. Within 2 h of photodegradation, more than 95% of phenol could be removed under solar light irradiation.
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