Photocatalytic and Photoelectrocatalytic Degradation of the Explosive RDX by TiO2 Thin Films Prepared by CVD and Anodic Oxidation of Ti


  • Financial support for FT from the University of Strathclyde, the British Council and the Education Committee of Shanxi Province in PR China is gratefully acknowledged. The authors would also like to thank Dr A. Fraser and Mr I. Sharp of DERA for supplying chemicals. This article is part of a special section on the CVD of TiO2 and Doped TiO2 Films.


Two kinds of TiO2 films prepared by CVD and by anodization of titanium mesh are compared for the photocatalytic (PC) and photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) degradation of RDX aqueous solutions illuminated under a 200 W UV light. The PC activity of anodically formed TiO2 is lower than that with CVD-produced TiO2. The PC efficiencies of degradation of RDX with both anodized and CVD films are improved by applying a potential of 1 V versus saturated calomel electrode (SCE), with up to 95% of RDX being destroyed in two hours by a CVD-produced TiO2 film, and 81% by anodized TiO2. Chemical analysis shows that during RDX degradation, nitrite is the first mineralized product which is further oxidized to nitrate.