Photoelectrocatalysis for Sustainable Environment: Green Technology Advances in the Water-Energy-Climate Nexus

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 7401

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Interests: electrochemically-driven processes; photo-assisted technologies; photoelectrocatalysis; electrocatalysis; photocatalysis; advanced oxidation processes; water treatment; nanotechnology

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Guest Editor
Department of Materials Science and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: Fenton; photo-Fenton; electrochemical advanced oxidation processes; electrochemical oxidation; electro-Fenton; UV photoelectro-Fenton; solar photoelectro-Fenton; photoelectrocatalysis; water remediation; organic and inorganic pollutants removal from synthetic and actual waters and wastewaters
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Interests: electrochemistry; electrochemical advanced oxidation processes; photoelectrocatalytic systems for water treatment; photocatalysis; materials electrochemistry; water treatment; electrocoagulation; ionic diodes for desalination; electrochemical sensors and biosensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last few years, photoelectrocatalysis has been developed as an exciting green technology with high potential for a wide variety of sustainable applications, including water treatment, energy production, climate protection, sustainable synthesis of products, and resource recovery. The synthesis of new nano-structured photoelectrocatalysts has enabled new pathways to exploit benefits not only with UV light but also with visible light that can be provided by free sunlight as an energy source. All of this together is highlighting photoelectrocatalysis as a green, inexpensive, and innovative technology to face environmental challenges. Their implication in water treatment and disinfection, water splitting within the hydrogen economy, or CO2 reduction to valuable chemical products has opened the doors to intensive research in this field. This Special Issue aims to cover recent advances from fundamentals to applications at higher technology readiness levels, and new trends using efficient photoelectrochemical cells with new advanced photocatalysts to offer green solutions to environmental problems.

Prof. Dr. Sergi Garcia-Segura
Prof. Enric Brillas
Prof. Dr. Omotayo A. Arotiba
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • photoelectrocatalysis
  • nanostructures
  • nano-composites
  • CO2 reduction
  • electrosynthesis
  • hydrogen economy
  • water treatment
  • water disinfection
  • water splitting
  • solar cells
  • semiconductor

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 4253 KiB  
Article
Photoelectrochemical Degradation of Organic Pollutants on a La3+ Doped BiFeO3 Perovskite
by Oluchi V. Nkwachukwu, Charles Muzenda, Babatope O. Ojo, Busisiwe N. Zwane, Babatunde A. Koiki, Benjamin O. Orimolade, Duduzile Nkosi, Nonhlangabezo Mabuba and Omotayo A. Arotiba
Catalysts 2021, 11(9), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11091069 - 2 Sep 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3361
Abstract
Towards nonconventional wastewater treatment methods for the degradation of organic pollutants in wastewater, a perovskite-based photoelectrochemical system was developed. Bismuth ferrite doped with lanthanum (La-BiFeO3, La-BFO) perovskite was synthesised through a hydrothermal method with low calcination temperature for the photoelectrochemical degradation [...] Read more.
Towards nonconventional wastewater treatment methods for the degradation of organic pollutants in wastewater, a perovskite-based photoelectrochemical system was developed. Bismuth ferrite doped with lanthanum (La-BiFeO3, La-BFO) perovskite was synthesised through a hydrothermal method with low calcination temperature for the photoelectrochemical degradation of orange II dye and other cocktails of dyes. Photoanodes were prepared by the deposition of the perovskites on a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate. The photoanodes were characterised using XRD, FESEM, FTIR and UV-vis diffuse reflectance. The photoelectrochemical properties of the synthesised photoanodes were investigated with chronoamperometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (including Mott–Schottky analysis). The results show that all La3+-doped BFO photoanodes exhibited a higher absorption edge in the visible light region than the undoped BFO. The photocurrent response of 10% La-BFO (the best performing electrode) exhibited a three times higher current response than the pure BFO. In addition, the electrode exhibited a good degradation efficiency of 84.2% within 120 min with applied bias potential of 2 V at a pH of 7. EIS studies showed a significant enhancement of the interfacial electron transfer of the charge carriers. The enhancements in electrode performances were attributed to the synergistic effect of the applied bias potential and the introduction of La3+ into the BFO matrix. This study therefore shows that the photoelectrocatalytic performance of BFO for water treatment can be improved by the introduction of perovskites-doping ions such as La3+. Full article
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Review

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28 pages, 37629 KiB  
Review
The Pathway towards Photoelectrocatalytic Water Disinfection: Review and Prospects of a Powerful Sustainable Tool
by Sergi Garcia-Segura, Omotayo A. Arotiba and Enric Brillas
Catalysts 2021, 11(8), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11080921 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3026
Abstract
Photoelectrocatalysis is a hybrid photon/electron-driven process that benefits from the synergistic effects of both processes to enhance and stabilize the generation of disinfecting oxidants. Photoelectrocatalysis is an easy to operate technology that can be scaled-up or scaled-down for various water treatment applications as [...] Read more.
Photoelectrocatalysis is a hybrid photon/electron-driven process that benefits from the synergistic effects of both processes to enhance and stabilize the generation of disinfecting oxidants. Photoelectrocatalysis is an easy to operate technology that can be scaled-up or scaled-down for various water treatment applications as low-cost decentralized systems. This review article describes the fundamentals of photoelectrocatalysis, applied to water disinfection to ensure access to clean water for all as a sustainable development goal. Advances in reactor engineering design that integrate light-delivery and electrochemical system requirements are presented, with a description of photo-electrode material advances, including doping, nano-decoration, and nanostructure control. Disinfection and cell inactivation are described using different model microorganisms such as E. coli, Mycobacteria, Legionella, etc., as well the fungus Candida parapsilosis, with relevant figures of merit. The key advances in the elucidation of bacterial inactivation mechanisms by photoelectrocatalytic treatments are presented and knowledge gaps identified. Finally, prospects and further research needs are outlined, to define the pathway towards the future of photoelectrocatalytic disinfection technologies. Full article
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