Composites of BiVO4 and g-C3N4: Synthesis, Properties and Photocatalytic Decomposition of Azo Dye AO7 and Nitrous Oxide

Abstract

The composites of BiVO4 and g-C3N4 (BiVO4/g-C3N4) were synthesised by the calcination of a mixture of monoclinic BiVO4 and bulk g-C3N4 at 300 °C for 4 h. Both components were previously prepared by the precipitation of Bi(NO3)3 with NH4VO3 and annealing of melamine. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) identified the presence of C–O and C=O bonds as well as metal nitrides which confirmed the formation of a heterojunction between BiVO4 and g-C3N4. The heterojunction was also indicated by UV–Vis diffuse reflectance (DRS) and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. The band gap energies were determined at 2.42–2.46 eV of BiVO4 and 2.75–2.82 eV of bulk g-C3N4. The specific surface area was 23–28 m2 g−1 of the composites and 6 m2 g−1 and 35 m2 g−1 of pure BiVO4 and g-C3N4, respectively. The photocatalytic activity of the composites was investigated by the decomposition of Acid Orange 7 (AO7) and nitrous oxide. In case of AO7, the BiVO4/g-C3N4 (1:3) composite was the most active one and the main role in the reaction was played by photoinduced holes forming hydroxyl radicals. At the decomposition of N2O, the most important species were the photoinduced electrons and the BiVO4/g-C3N4 (1:1) composite was the most active photocatalyst.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (project No. 16-10527S), the EU structural funding in Operational Program Research, Development and Education, Project No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000853 “Institute of Environmental Technology—Excellent research” and by VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava (Project No. SP 2019/142). The authors acknowledge the assistance provided by the Research Infrastructure NanoEnviCz, supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under Project No. LM2015073.

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Praus, P., Lang, J., Martaus, A. et al. Composites of BiVO4 and g-C3N4: Synthesis, Properties and Photocatalytic Decomposition of Azo Dye AO7 and Nitrous Oxide. J Inorg Organomet Polym 29, 1219–1234 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10904-019-01085-4

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Keywords

  • BiVO4
  • G-C3N4
  • Composites
  • Heterojunction
  • Photocatalysis