Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol.355, 11-21, 2019
Simultaneous SO2 removal and CO2 reduction in a nano-BiVO4 vertical bar Cu-In nanoalloy photoelectrochemical cell
SO2 and CO2 emitted from using of fossil fuels are causing serious environmental issues. Herein we put forward a promising strategy to realize CO2 reduction and SO2 removal simultaneously through a photoelectrochemical (PEC) process based on nanoelectrodes. In the present work, SO2 was oxidized to SO42- on BiVO4 photoanode after being absorbed by NaHCO3 solutions. At the same time, CO2 reduction occurred on nanoflower-like copper-indium alloy cathode. The absorption efficiency of SO2 was greater than 95%, and SO32- was oxidized to SO42- with oxidation efficiency about 50% in 3 h. Moreover, the energy of SO2 was recycled to assist the CO2 reduction on the cathode, consequently, the photocurrent densities were increased at least 3 times after introducing SO2. CO2 reduction with CO and HCOOH as main products was improved significantly when SO2 removal was conducted simultaneously. In-situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) experiments were also performed to study the adsorption and conversion of SO2 on BiVO4 nanoparticles. The proposed approach could efficiently remove SO2 and recycle the energy of it to reduce CO2 into useful chemicals. This work provides a sustainable strategy for dealing with CO2 and SO2 in the flue gas by combining desulfurization and CO2 reduction in one PEC cell using nanoelectrodes.