Carbon Nitride: A Wonder Photocatalyst

  • Biswajit ChoudhuryEmail author
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 29)


The growing demand of energy and industrial advancements for a better livelihood is also bringing several environmental challenges, which mostly includes global warming, change in weather pattern, and air and water quality variation. The present energy needs are derived from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas and petroleum. Fossil fuels are responsible for the emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and NO. Similarly, many industrial and medical wastes released into the soil are contaminating surface and ground water quality. Many of these problems can be tackled with by the aid of photocatalysis. Water splitting using solar energy can generate renewable hydrogen (H2) energy which can be an alternative to the fossil fuels for solving energy-related problems. Similarly, utilization of solar energy can also improve water and air quality to a larger extent. The solving of these problems requires the design of a suitable photocatalyst that can effectively utilize ultraviolet (UV) and visible (Vis) light for performing photocatalytic reactions.

Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is an emerging 2D layered carbonaceous material with enormous photocatalytic applications in the field of water splitting, water detoxification, CO2 reduction, NO removal, etc. The widespread use in the area of photocatalysis is because of their visible light absorbing band gap, nanoporous nature, good thermal stability, better separation of charge carriers, and appropriate band structure for coupling with different types of photocatalytic active semiconductor material. This chapter discusses the different experimental tools adopted to design and modify g-C3N4 for the desired photocatalytic applications. The different methods which are considered are thermal and chemical exfoliation, shape tailoring, surface modification by defect and doping engineering, nanocomposites with carbonaceous materials, semiconductor metal oxides, metal sulphides, etc. The modified g-C3N4 can efficiently harvest the entire solar light spectrum from visible to NIR and show largely available photogenerated electrons and holes for participation in photocatalysis. This photocatalyst can be effectively used for water purification, H2 generation, O2 evolution, CO2 reduction, NO removal, etc. All these issues have been discussed in this chapter with an idea to broaden the futuristic applications of g-C3N4 as wonder photocatalyst for clean, green, and sustainable energy generation.


Graphitic carbon nitride Semiconductor metal oxides Defects Doping Absorption Charge carriers Nanocomposite Water splitting Photocatalytic degradation CO2 removal 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physical Sciences DivisionInstitute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (An Autonomous Institute Under DST, Government of India)GuwahatiIndia

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