This work describes the synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic activity of new composite nanomaterials based on ZnO nanostructures impregnated by lipophlilic porphyrins derived from cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL). The obtained nanomaterials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and steady-state photoluminescence spectra (PL). The results confirm nanostructures showing average diameter of 55 nm and an improved absorption in the visible region. Further, the FTIR analysis proved the existence of non-covalent interactions between the porphyrin molecules and ZnO. The photocatalytic activity of prepared photocatalysts was investigated by degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation and natural sunlight. It was demonstrated that the photocatalytic activity increases in the presence of the porphyrins and, also, depends on the irradiation source. The development of composite photocatalysts based on porphyrins derived from CNSL provides an alternative approach to eliminate efficiently toxic wastes from water under ambient conditions.
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