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Solar light-driven simultaneous pharmaceutical pollutant degradation and green hydrogen production using a mesoporous nanoscale WO3/BiVO4 heterostructure photoanode
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Volume: 11, Issue: 3, Start page: 110256
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Photoelectrocatalysis is one of the most favourable techniques that could be used in this remit as it has the potential to utilise natural sunlight to generate oxidants in situ to mediate effective pollutant degradation. This work, therefore, utilises a mesoporous nanoscale WO3/BiVO4 heterostructure...
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Photoelectrocatalysis is one of the most favourable techniques that could be used in this remit as it has the potential to utilise natural sunlight to generate oxidants in situ to mediate effective pollutant degradation. This work, therefore, utilises a mesoporous nanoscale WO3/BiVO4 heterostructure photoanode to effectively degrade ibuprofen in wastewater combined with simultaneous green hydrogen generation at the cathode under simulated sunlight. A near complete degradation (>96%) of ibuprofen (starting concentration of 100 mg/L), with no hazardous intermediates (determined via mass spectrometry analysis), along with simultaneous H2 evolution of 114 µmol/cm2 after 145 min was demonstrated in this work. In addition, intermediate product analysis, the role of the type of in situ oxidants on degradation, the mechanistic pathway of degradation, and the material characteristics of mesoporous photoanode were also investigated. First experimental evidence of in situ generated H2O2 contributing to the degradation of ibuprofen is presented.
Pharmaceutical pollutants, Wastewater treatment, Photoelectrocatalysis, WO3, BiVO4, Hydrogen, Solar Energy
Faculty of Science and Engineering
SP acknowledges European Regional Development Grant for providing Ser Cymru-II Rising Star Fellowship through Welsh Government (80761-SU- 102 -West) and supports this work. Also, SP thanks Heriot-Watt University for start-up grant support. SP and MFK acknowledge support from the Welsh Government (Sêr Cymru III – Tackling Covid-19, Project 076 ReCoVir). EPSRC partially supported this work through a DTA studentship to MA (EP/R51312X/1) and a capital investment grant to MK (EP/S017925/1). MFK thanks Swansea University for providing start-up funds.