Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 35, Issue 7–8, pp 715–721 | Cite as

Photoelectrolytic oxidation of organic species at mesoporous tungsten trioxide film electrodes under visible light illumination

  • R. Solarska
  • C. Santato
  • C. Jorand-Sartoretti
  • M. Ulmann
  • J. Augustynski


Operation of a photoelectrolyser fitted with a semitransparent semiconducting WO3 film photoanode is described. Due to its band-gap energy of 2.5 eV, the photoresponse of the WO3 electrode extends into the blue part of the visible spectrum up to 500 nm. The WO3 photoanode exhibits particularly high incident photon-to-current efficiencies for the oxidation of several organic species with the maximum occurring at ca. 400 nm. Experiments conducted under simulated AM 1.5 solar illumination demonstrated efficient photodegradation of a variety of organic chemicals including small organic molecules as well as EDTA and anthraquinonic Acid Blue 80 dye. Although, due to the inherent mass transport limitations, the described device appears best suited to the treatment of industrial wastewater containing from 100 ppm to few g L−1 of impurities, almost complete removal of organic carbon was observed in several photoelectrolysis runs. This is apparently associated with the concomitant photooxidation of sulphate-based supporting electrolyte resulting in the formation of a powerful chemical oxidant-persulphate.


mesoporous film semiconducting WO3 visible light photooxidation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    M. Schiavello (Ed.), ‘Photocatalysis and Environment: Trends and Applications’, NATO ASI Series, Vol. C237 (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1988)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Serpone, N., Pelizzetti, E. 1989Photocatalysis: Fundamentals and ApplicationsWiley-InterscienceNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Guillard, C., Herrmann, J.M., Pichat, P. 1993Catal. Today177Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ollis, D.F., Al-Ekabi, H.A. 1993Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on TiO2 Photocatalytic Purification and Treatment of Water and AirElsevierAmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    D.W. Bahnemann, J. Cunningham, M.A. Fox, E. Pelizzetti, P. Pichat and N. Serpone, ‘Aquatic Surface Photochemistry’ (F.L. Lewis, Boca Raton. FL, 1994) p. 261.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rajeshwar, K. 1995J. Appl. Electrochem251067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    D.M. Blake, ‘Bibliography of Work on the Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Removal of Hazardous Compounds from Water and Air’, NREL/TP-510-31319 (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 2001).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Spichiger-Ulmann, M., Augustynski, J. 1983J. Appl. Phys546061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Santato, C., Ulmann, M., Augustynski, J. 2001J. Phys. Chem. B105936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Santato, C., Ulmann, M., Augustynski, J. 2001Adv. Mater13511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Santato, C., Odziemkowski, M., Ulmann, M., Augustynski, J. 2001J. Am. Chem. Soc12310639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bergers, P.J.M., Groot, A.C. 1994Water Res28639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    A. Wahl, M. Ulmann, A. Carroy and J. Augustynski, J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun. (1994) 2277.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Morrison, S.R., Freund, T. 1967J. Chem. Phys471543Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Freund, T., Gomes, WP. 1969Catal. Rev31Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Léausic, A., Babonneau, F., Livage, J. 1986J. Phys. Chem904193Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    C. Santato, H. Hagemann and J. Augustynski, to be published.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kari, F.G., Hilger, S., Canonica, S. 1995Environ. Sci. Technol291008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Prevot, A.B., Baiocchi, C., Brussino, M.C., Pramuaro, E., Savarino, P., Augugliaro, V., Marci, G., Palmisano, L. 2001Environ. Sci. Technol35971Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Stucki, S., Kötz, R., Carcer, B., Suter, W. 1991J. Appl. Electrochem2199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zanta, C.L.P.S., Michaud, P.-A., Comninellis, Ch., Andrade, A.R., Boodts, J.F.C. 2003J. Appl. Electrochem331211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Polcaro, A.M., Palmas, S. 1997Ind. Eng. Chem. Res361791CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Solarska
    • 1
  • C. Santato
    • 1
  • C. Jorand-Sartoretti
    • 1
  • M. Ulmann
    • 1
  • J. Augustynski
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de Chimie MinéraleAnalytique et Appliquée Université de GenèveGenèveSuisse

Personalised recommendations