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Catalysts 2018, 8(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8010030

Highly Efficient and Visible Light Responsive Heterojunction Composites as Dual Photoelectrodes for Photocatalytic Fuel Cell

1
Environmental Science Research Institute, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Department of Chemistry, PSG College of Technology, Peelamedu, Coimbatore 641004, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalysts for Organics Degradation)
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Abstract

In the present work, a novel photocatalytic fuel cell (PFC) system involving a dual heterojunction photoelectrodes, viz. polyaniline/TiO2 nanotubes (PANI/TiO2 NTs) photoanode and CuO/Co3O4 nanorods (CuO/Co3O4 NRs) photocathode, has been designed. Compared to TiO2 NTs electrode of PFC, the present heterojunction design not only enhances the visible light absorption but also offers the higher efficiency in degrading Rhodamine B–a model organic pollutant. The study includes an evaluation of the dual performance of the photoelectrodes as well. Under visible-light irradiation of 3 mW cm−2, the cell composed of the photoanode PANI/TiO2 NTs and CuO/Co3O4 NRs photocathode forms an interior bias of +0.24 V within the PFC system. This interior bias facilitated the transfer of electrons from the photoanode to photocathode across the external circuit and combined with the holes generated therein along with a simultaneous power production. In this manner, the separation of electron/hole pair was achieved in the photoelectrodes by releasing the holes and electrons of PANI/TiO2 NTs photoanode and CuO/Co3O4 NRs photocathode, respectively. Using this PFC system, the degradation of Rhodamine B in aqueous media was achieved to an extent of 68.5% within a reaction duration of a four-hour period besides a simultaneous power generation of 85 μA cm−2. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyaniline; titanium dioxide; copper(II) oxide; cobalt oxide(II,III); photocatalytic fuel cell polyaniline; titanium dioxide; copper(II) oxide; cobalt oxide(II,III); photocatalytic fuel cell
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Pan, H.; Liao, W.; Sun, N.; Murugananthan, M.; Zhang, Y. Highly Efficient and Visible Light Responsive Heterojunction Composites as Dual Photoelectrodes for Photocatalytic Fuel Cell. Catalysts 2018, 8, 30.

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