Gas-solid heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation of aromatic compounds in air was carried out at room temperature with a fixed bed flow reactor. The deposition of Rh on TiO2 catalyst improved the catalyst durability in benzene photooxidation. The Rh deposition reduced the amounts of carbonaceous materials on the catalyst surface that were the cause of catalyst deactivation. The highest reaction rate was obtained at the Rh loading of 0.5-1.0 wt %. The Rh/TiO2 catalyst was gradually deactivated in prolonged benzene photooxidation, due to the increasing amount of carbonaceous materials on the catalyst surface. XPS studies showed that the gradual deactivation was related to the changes in the oxidation state of the surface Rh metals. The catalysts were regenerated by the treatment of hydrogen reduction after the photoirradiation in humidified air, indicating that Rh 0 was essential for the improvement of the catalyst durability. The catalyst was also regenerated by the heat treatment in N2 flow instead of the hydrogen reduction. Rh deposition was also effective for the improvement of catalyst durability in toluene photooxidation.
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