Flower-like and coral-like particles composed of rutile TiO2 nanorods were synthesized via hydrolysis of TiCl4 in water at room temperature and hydrothermal crystallization. The subsequent deposition of Ni(OH)2 clusters resulted in enhanced adsorption property and photocatalytic activity. In particular, Ni(OH)2-modified coral-like rutile TiO2 was shown to efficiently remove 76% of tetracycline from 100 mg L-1 solution after 30 min adsorption and subsequent 2 h photodegradation under visible light; whereas only 57% tetracycline removal was achieved by the commercial TiO2 (P25). In addition, the micro-sized Ni(OH)2-modified rutile TiO2 particles could be easily recovered from water after the photocatalytic process, and showed significant advantages over nano-sized photocatalysts. Our study provides a simple and green route to synthesizing photocatalysts with enhanced adsorption and photocatalytic performance for potential applications in practical water purification and wastewater treatment.
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