ZnO/WO3 nanocomposites: Pechini sol-gel synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic performance for desulfurization of thiophene

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 New Technology Faculty, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran.

2 Department of Nanotechnology, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, Semnan University, Semnan 35131-19111, Iran



In recent decades, considerable research about the destruction of hazardous pollutants sulfur from petroleum products was conducted. However, reforms in this area have not been satisfactory and efforts are ongoing. The aim of this study was to investigate and overcome thiophene sulfur contaminants using high purity synthesized ZnO/WO3 nanocomposite and homogeneous composition by Pechini sol-gel method at low temperature. Zinc oxide is one of the most dynamic elements known in this field, its presence together with tungsten oxide prevents the crystallization of tungsten nanoparticles. Fuzzy structure, percentage of elements, surface morphology, penetration reflection spectrum, and photocatalytic degradation of thiophene were determined by XRD, EDS, SEM, and DRS analyzes, respectively. DRS results indicate high light absorption, reduced bandgap due to the presence of WO3 after combination with ZnO, and increased efficiency. Finally, the nanocomposite with more than 84% efficiency resulted in the degradation of oxidative desulfurization of thiophene after 150 min under visible light.