The photocatalytic degradation of wastewater containing three industrial dyes belonging to different families, methyl orange (MO), methylene blue (MB) and Rhodamine B (RhB), was studied under UV-Vis irradiation using synthesised silver chloride nanoparticles. The nanocatalyst was prepared by a dissolution/reprecipitation method starting from the bulk powder and the ionic liquid trihexyl(tetradecyl)phosphonium chloride, [P6 6 6 14]Cl, without addition of other solvents. The obtained catalyst was characterised by UV-Vis absorbance, X-ray powder diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The decolourisation of the samples was studied by UV-Vis absorbance at the corresponding wavelength. Starting from 10 ppm dye solutions and 1 g L−1 of the synthesised AgCl nanoparticles, degradation efficiencies of 98.4% for MO, 98.6% for MB and 99.9% for RhB, were achieved in 1 h. The degradation mechanisms for the different dyes were studied. Comparison with other frequently used nanocatalysts, namely P-25 Degussa, TiO2 anatase, Ag and ZnO, highlights the strong catalytic activity of AgCl nanoparticles. Under the same experimental conditions, these nanoparticles led to higher (more than 10%) and faster degradations.

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