Biomass-Based Photocatalysts for Environmental Applications

  • Yean Ling PangEmail author
  • Chin Woei Lim
  • Katrina Pui Yee Shak
  • Steven Lim
  • Wai Chong Cheam
  • Chai Hoon Koo
  • Ahmad Zuhairi Abdullah
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 30)


In recent years, advanced oxidation process has shown a new frontier environmental friendly and sustainable wastewater treatment technology to replace the conventional treatment methods. Heterogeneous photocatalysis is a promising approach in environmental remediation. Among the popular photocatalysts, semiconductor oxide photocatalysts have been widely explored due to their durability and chemical and physical properties. However, the practical application of semiconductor oxide is limited because of its expensive cost, large bandgap energy and rapid recombination of the photoinduced electron-hole pairs. This chapter addresses the main advancements in overcoming the barriers accompanied by pure semiconductor oxide by incorporating with biomass-derived carbonaceous materials for fabrication of effective visible light-responsive semiconductor oxide-based photocatalysts.

The utilization of these biomass-derived photocatalysts provides a greener synthesis route for environmental purifications. This chapter firstly highlights the types, properties and conversion of biomass into biochar, activated carbon (AC) or any other carbonaceous materials. The general methods for preparing biomass-based support and the mechanisms are also presented in details. Finally, the latest research papers on modification or functionalization of a biomass-based photocatalyst for the removal of organic pollutants have also been comprehensively discussed. There is still a lack of published information on the fundamental knowledge of biomass-derived photocatalyst to understand the complex photocatalytic mechanisms especially on the reactions occurring on the heterogeneous biomass surfaces. Therefore, further theories and hypotheses need to be investigated to fill these gaps in order to address all full potentials of the biomass-derived photocatalyst for environmental applications.


Biomass Activated carbon (AC) Biochar Photocatalyst Modification Functionalization Heterogeneous Advanced oxidation process Photocatalytic degradation Organic pollutants 



The authors would like to acknowledge Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia, for the financial support under UTARRF (IPSR/RMC/UTARRF/2018-C1/P01) through Centre for Photonics and Advanced Materials Research and Centre for Environment and Green Technology (CEGT). The financial support provided by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS/1/2018/TK10/UTAR/02/2) by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Malaysia, is also gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yean Ling Pang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chin Woei Lim
    • 1
  • Katrina Pui Yee Shak
    • 1
  • Steven Lim
    • 1
  • Wai Chong Cheam
    • 1
  • Chai Hoon Koo
    • 2
  • Ahmad Zuhairi Abdullah
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and ScienceUniversiti Tunku Abdul RahmanKajangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and ScienceUniversiti Tunku Abdul RahmanKajangMalaysia
  3. 3.School of Chemical EngineeringUniversiti Sains MalaysiaNibong TebalMalaysia

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