Bi7O9I3, a kind of visible-light-responsive photocatalyst, with hierarchical micro/nano-architecture was successfully synthesized by oil-bath heating method, with ethylene glycol as solvent, and applied to degrade sulfonamide antibiotics. The as-prepared product was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV-visible diffuse reflection spectra and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). XRD and XPS tests confirmed that the product was indeed Bi7O9I3. The result of SEM observation shows that the as-synthesized Bi7O9I3 consists of a large number of micro-sheets with parallel rectangle structure. The optical test exhibited strong photoabsorption in visible light irradiation, with 617 nm of absorption edges. Moreover, the difference in the photocatalytic efficiency of as-prepared Bi7O9I3 at different seasons of a whole year was investigated in this study. The chemical oxygen demand removal efficiency and concentration of NO3 and SO42– of solution after reaction were also researched to confirm whether degradation of the pollutant was complete; the results indicated a high mineralization capacity of Bi7O9I3. The as-synthesized Bi7O9I3 exhibits an excellent oxidizing capacity of sulfadiazine sodium and favorable stability during the photocatalytic reaction.

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