Volume 1, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 5 articles

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11 October 2023

Fibrous SiC-based Mesoporous Solids for the Photocatalytic Degradation of Organic Pollutants under Artificial Light

SiC-based mesoporous solids with fibrous nanostructure were prepared by impregnation of a polycarbosilane precursor on annealed polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers and subsequent pyrolysis. The obtained material exhibits a mesoporous structure and has a specific surface area of ~20 m2/g. It has a semiconducting electronic character with a bandgap of 2.65 eV, i.e., in the visible range. Adsorption tests of methylene blue were performed on the material under dark conditions, which showed an adsorption amount of 78 wt%. The photocatalytic activity of the material was then evaluated for the degradation of the dye under artificial daylight irradiation over a period of 7 h. A degradation of 94 wt% was achieved. Regeneration and reuse of the material was also tested and resulted in 97 wt% degradation after reuse, indicating potential interest of the material as a contactor in environmental remediation devices.


12 October 2023

New Trends on Photoswitchable Antibiotics: From Syntheses to Applications

Antibiotics are excreted in the environment after being used to treat bacterial infections in human and animals. These residues are poorly eliminated by the actual wastewater treatment processes, affecting animal, human and environmental health. This has led to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens. To combat this problem, photopharmacology has emerged in the last decades. This approach, based on the coupling of a drug with a photochromic component, is a promising way to control antibiotic activity by light irradiation and consequently limit antibioresistance. Thus, this review summarizes the study on the effect of the irradiation light on the antimicrobial activity of coupling compounds.


05 January 2024

Benzene Bridged Carbon Nitride for Efficient Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution

Turing the electronic structure by inserting certain functional groups in graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4, CN for short) skeleton through molecular doping is an effective way to improve its photocatalytic performance. Herein, we prepare a benzene bridged carbon nitride (BCN) by calcining urea and 1,3,5-tribromobenzene at elevated temperature. The introduction of benzene ring in g-C3N4 layers improves the separation efficiency and lifetime of photogenerated carriers, inhibits the recombination rate of electron/hole pairs, thus the performance of photocatalytic hydrogen evolution improves. The optimal hydrogen evolution rate of 1.5BCN reaches 1800 µmol/h·g, which is nine times that of the pure g-C3N4. DFT calculation proved the benzene bridged CN increased the distance of charge transfer (DCT) and the push-pull electronic effect of intramolecular electrons. This work may provide a pathway for preparing molecular doped g-C3N4 with improved photocatalytic performance.


11 April 2024

Exploring Bi4V2O11 as Photoanode for Water Splitting with a Wide Range of Solar Light Capture and Suitable Band Potential

Bi4V2O11 possesses a bandgap of ~1.9 eV, and the band positions of minimum conduction band and maximum valence band straddle the redox potentials of H+/H2 and O2/H2O. In the current work, photoanode made of particulate Bi4V2O11 film displays a wide range of light adsorption. However, when the anode was fabricated by drop-casting and examined for photoelectrochemical water splitting, the photocurrent density of the pristine Bi4V2O11 was low. Improvement has then been carried out by Mo-doping. The Mo-doped Bi4V2O11 photoanode achieves a maximum photocurrent density of 0.3 mA/cm2 after a post deposition necking treatment to improve the connectivity of the drop-cast particles in the film. This material also shows a stability with maintaining 80% photocurrent after 2 h test. Discussion has been made on the displayed performance in PEC water splitting of the Bi4V2O11 materials. Potential solutions have been proposed for this type of promising photoanode material for water splitting.


23 April 2024

Visible Light-Driven H2O2 Photoelectrocatalytic Synthesis Over a Tandem Electrode Strategy

Photocatalytic synthesis of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) can be an environmentally friendly and energy-saving solution. However, the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) rate is limited due to the low solubility of O2 in water. In this study, a modified BiVO4 (BVO) photoanode combined with an Sn-coordinated phthalocyanine gas diffusion electrode (SnPc-GDE) was employed for the synthesis of H2O2, and the oxy-gen reduction reaction rate was increased through a unique three-phase interface system. When visible light was irradiated on the BVO photoanode, the hole-electron pairs were excited and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) was driven through the holes, and the excited electrons were transferred to the SnPc-GDE to reduce O2 for the synthesis of H2O2. Oxygen vacancy enrichment on the BVO electrode was achieved by photoetching and annealing under an N2 atmosphere, which effectively improved the carrier separation efficiency. Complexation with a WO3 layer formed a built-in electric field, which further promoted the electron-hole pair separation. The SnPc catalyst-modified GDE electrode has the best selectivity for ORR and remains stable during long-term reactions. Under bias-free conditions, the generation rate of H2O2 reached 952.5 μM·L−1·h−1, with a Faradaic efficiency of 48.4%. This study provided a practical strategy for designing a highly efficient BVO/SnPc-GDE photoelectrochemical system to produce H2O2 based on improvement in electron-hole transmission efficiency and product selectivity.