Due to population growth, strict health regulations, and economic development, the need for better quality water has increased in recent years. Thus, the removal or decomposition of hazardous organic materials and pollutants from wastewater has become a global goal. These contaminants include bisphenols, including bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol AF (BPAF), and bisphenol S (BPS). These bisphenols are hormone disruptors and are harmful even in low concentrations, so they must be removed from wastewater. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are the most suitable for their removal and have therefore been intensively studied in recent years. One of the advanced oxidation processes is also heterogeneous photocatalysis with a TiO2 catalyst.
The aim of the master's thesis was the synthesis of plasmonic photocatalysts based on TiO2, to which we wanted to apply different loadings of gold, and the prepared catalysts were later used for photocatalytic removal of BPA in a batch slurry reactor. We also used two different morphologies of TiO2 (nanoparticles and nanorods). Before the catalysts were used to degrade BPA, they were tested in reactions with terephthalic acid (TA) and coumarin (COUM) to test the ability to form OH radicals. The efficiency of photocatalytic degradation was then evaluated by chemical analytical methods. The concentration of BPA in the samples taken during the photocatalytic reaction was checked by means of HPLC analysis and compared with the initial BPA solution. We demonstrated that BPA was mineralized rather than accumulated on the catalyst surface. The results of analyses showed that the application of Au to the catalyst does not affect its morphology and the actual loading amounts of Au correspond to the nominal values. After performing BPA degradation with all catalysts, we selected the catalyst with highest activity for each morphology and tried to degrade BPF, BPAF, and BPS over these solids, as these compounds are BPA analogs that are often used as a replacement for BPA. The best catalysts were TNP + 2% Au and TNR + 1% Au. The degradation of BPF was similar to that of BPA, because they are structurally similar. BPAF and BPS showed higher resistance to reactions with reactive oxygen species. For both catalysts, the degradation was almost negligible. The reason for the resistance is probably the structure of the molecules itself, the very strong B - F bond in BF3 moiety of BPAF and the double bonds between O and S in the sulfonyl group in the BPS.