Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 4155–4170 | Cite as

Towards visible-light photocatalysis for environmental applications: band-gap engineering versus photons absorption—a review

  • Rafaela B. P. Marcelino
  • Camila C. AmorimEmail author
Advanced Oxidation Technologies: State-of-the-Art in Ibero-American Countries


A range of different studies has been performed in order to design and develop photocatalysts that work efficiently under visible (and near-infrared) irradiation as well as to improve photons absorption with improved reactor design. While there is consensus on the importance of photocatalysis for environmental applications and the necessity to utilized solar irradiation (or visible-light) as driving force for these processes, it is not yet clear how to get there. Discussion on the future steps towards visible-light photocatalysis for environmental application is of great interest to scientific and industrial communities and the present paper reviews and discusses the two main approaches, band-gap engineering for efficient solar-activated catalysts and reactor designs for improved photons absorption. Common misconceptions and drawbacks of each technology are also examined together with insights for future progress.


Visible-light photocatalysis Solar irradiation Band-gap engineering Photoreactor design Water treatment Air treatment 


Funding information

This study was financially supported by the FAPEMIG, CAPES, and CPNq.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group on Environmental Applications of Advanced Oxidation Processes, Graduate Program in Sanitation, Environment and Water ResourcesSchool of Engineering, Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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