In recent years, industrial contaminants and especially organic pollutions have been threatening both environmental safety and human health. Particularly, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) has been considered as one of the major hazardous contaminants due to its widespread production and ecological toxicities. Consequently, reliable methods toward the efficient and environmentally benign degradation of DBP in wastewater would be very desirable. To this end, a novel magnetically separable porous TiO2/Ag composite photocatalyst with magnetic Fe3O4 particles as the core was developed and successfully introduced to the photocatalytic degradation of DBP under visible irradiation with a fluorescent lamp. The presented work describes the grafting of Ag co-doped TiO2 composite on the silica-modified porous Fe3O4 magnetic particles with a simple and inexpensive chemical co-precipitation method. Through the investigation of the influencing factors including photocatalyst dosage, initial concentration of DBP, solution pH, and H2O2 content, we found that the degradation efficiency could reach 74%. The photodegradation recovery experiment showed that the degradation efficiency of this photocatalyst remained almost the same after five times of reuse. In addition, a plausible degradation process was also proposed involving the attack of active hydroxyl radicals generated from this photocatalysis system and production of the corresponding intermediates of butyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, dipropyl phthalate, methyl benzoate, and benzoic acid.

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