American Chemical Society
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Pd@Bi2Ru2O7/BiVO4 Z‑Scheme Heterojunction Nanocomposite Photocatalyst for the Degradation of Trichloroethylene

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-14, 15:04 authored by Gbemisola J. Bamiduro, Elsayed M. Zahran
Photocatalytic degradation of chlorinated persistent organic pollutants is a very challenging process due to the high redox potential of the C–Cl bond that requires wide band gap catalysts that are activated under UV light. Designing a Z-scheme heterojunction between visible light-activated metal oxides with compatible band gaps enables these redox potentials. Herein, we report the design of a pyrochlore/Aurivillius Z-scheme heterojunction to enhance the photocatalytic activity of BiVO4 for the degradation of trichloroethylene. We prepared Bi2Ru2O7/BiVO4 heterostructured photocatalysts by a controlled hydrothermal approach. Upon optimizing the Bi2Ru2O7 ratio to 1.0 wt %, the heterostructured photocatalyst demonstrated enhanced activity in the degradation of trichloroethylene (TCE) under simulated sunlight irradiation compared to bare BiVO4 and Bi2Ru2O7, respectively. Decorating the surface of the catalyst with palladium nanodomains to create the Pd@Bi2Ru2O7/BiVO4 nanocomposite showed a substantial increase in the photocatalytic degradation of TCE. The material characterization indicated that the architecture of the material provides a synergy of enhancing the redox potential of the photocatalyst and improving the charge carrier dynamics. Furthermore, the photoelectrochemical characterization confirmed that the dual heterojunctions in the Pd@Bi2Ru2O7/BiVO4 nanocomposite resulted in improved interfacial charge carrier transfer and enhanced the electron/hole separation efficiency compared to the nonpalladized catalysts. This work provides a promising approach for band gap engineering of visible light photocatalysts for the degradation of halogenated persistent organic pollutants.