Zn2GeO4 nanorods were prepared by a surfactant-assisted hydrothermal method and used as photocatalysts for the decomposition of organic pollutants in water. The physicochemical properties of the Zn2GeO4 photocatalysts were characterized by several techniques, and their photocatalytic activity was evaluated by the decomposition of methyl orange, salicylic acid, and 4-chlorophenol in aqueous solution. The results revealed that the Zn2GeO4 nanorods have a much higher photocatalytic activity for decomposing organic pollutants in aqueous solution than both Zn2GeO4 prepared by a conventional solid-state reaction and widely used TiO2 (Degussa P25). There is no obvious deactivation of Zn2GeO4 nanorods in the photocatalytic reactions. The intermediates of the photocatalytic reactions were monitored by LC-MS, and possible photocatalytic reaction pathways as to how Zn2GeO4 nanorods degrade organic dyes were proposed.
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