Carbon spheres supported visible-light-driven CuO-BiVO4 heterojunction: Preparation, characterization, and photocatalytic properties
To utilize visible light more effectively in photocatalytic reactions, carbon-supported CuO-BiVO4 (CuO-BVO@C) composite photocatalyst was prepared by hydrothermal process and impregnation technique. The photocatalytic activities of as-prepared catalysts were evaluated by degradation of methylene blue (MB) in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation, it was found that CuO-BVO@C exhibits the highest photocatalytic degradation activity with the pseudo-first-order rate constant Ka five times higher than pure BiVO4, which could be assigned to the synergistic effect of CuO-BiVO4 heterojunction and carbon spheres. The characterization of photocatalysts by a series of joint techniques, including X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra, PL spectra and electrochemistry technology, discloses that carbon spheres play two crucial roles in enhancing of photocatalytic activity. One is to act as a dispersing support to suppress the grain growth, the other is to act as a photosensitizer to transfer the electrons to CuO-BiVO4 heterojunction, which narrows the band gap of BiVO4, hinders the electron–hole pair's recombination, extends the absorption range of visible light, and improves the photocatalytic performance of catalyst. The photocatalytic degradation pathways mainly involve the formation and reaction of OH radicals. Based on the experimental results of electron spin-resonance spectroscopy, a reasonable mechanism was also proposed to elucidate the role of carbon spheres in the CuO-BVO@C composite as a photocatalyst for degradation of organic pollutants.
Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slideHighlights► Carbon spheres supported CuO-BiVO4 heterojunction was synthesized. ► Carbon spheres roles as dispersing support and photosensitizer. ► Composite structure plays a key role in the enhancement of photocatalytic activities. ► A reasonable photodegradation mechanism based on electron transfer was proposed.
Journal: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental - Volumes 115–116, 5 April 2012, Pages 90–99