Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Jason G. Parsons

Second Advisor

Dr. Jose J. Gutierrez

Third Advisor

Dr. Evangelina Kotsikorou


The photocatalytic degradation of simazine (SIM) by Zinc oxide/graphene oxide (ZnO/GO) composites, under visible light irradiation, was investigated to determine various reaction parameters, of initial pH, ZnO loading on GO, and catalyst mass. A pH of 2 was determined to be the optimal reaction pH for all ZnO/GO catalysts. A loading mass of 40mg for the 20 & 30mmol composites; whereas a 10mg mass was determined to be most effective for the 10mmol composite. The reaction followed second order kinetics for the degradation process, the reaction dependence was determined to be on the concentration of SIM in solution. All ZnO/GO catalyst displayed a reaction rate greater than pure ZnO. Activation energies displayed a direct correlation to the amount of ZnO present on the GO surface. Further studies included catalyst cycling, which exhibited constant photocatalytic activity for the ZnO/GO composites over three reaction cycles, in addition, no priming cycle was necessary.


Copyright 2018 Kenneth Ray Flores. All Rights Reserved.

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