Solar light-driven simultaneous pharmaceutical pollutant degradation and green hydrogen production using a mesoporous nanoscale WO3/BiVO4 heterostructure photoanode

Katherine Rebecca Davies, Michael G. Allan, Sanjay Nagarajan, Rachel Townsend, Tom Dunlop, James D. McGettrick, Vijay Shankar Asokan, Sengeni Ananthraj, Trystan Watson, Ruth Godfrey, James Durrant, M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Moritz F. Kuehnel, Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110256
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Volume11
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Hydrogen
  • Pharmaceutical pollutants
  • Photoelectrocatalysis
  • Solar Energy
  • Wastewater treatment
  • WO , BiVO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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