Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol.369, 716-725, 2019
Simultaneous removal of tetracycline and Cr(VI) by a novel three-dimensional AgI/BiVO4 p-n junction photocatalyst and insight into the photocatalytic mechanism
Simultaneous combination of photocatalytic oxidation of tetracycline (TC) and reduction of Cr(VI) over the AgI/BiVO4 p-n junction photocatalysts were studied systematically. The result showed that the pollutant degradation efficiency of the photocatalyst was greatly enhanced when the system contained both TC and Cr(VI) compared to that containing Cr(VI) or TC alone. It is proposed that the co-existence of oxidizable and reducible species, such as TC and Cr(VI), ensured efficient use of the photoinduced electrons and holes, which leaded high efficiencies for both TC oxidation and Cr(VI) reduction. Among these photocatalysts, the 0.3-AgI/BiVO4 exhibits excellent photocatalytic activity, which is ascribed to the increased lifetime of the charge carriers confirmed by the result of time-resolved fluorescence emission decay spectra. In addition, seven degradation products of TC were found by GC-MS. Moreover, the band structure of the photocatalyst was obtained by the DFT calculation, VB-XPS spectra and the values of the Fermi level obtained by CASTEP. Finally, simultaneous photocatalytic oxidation and reduction enhancing mechanism over the AgI/BiVO4 photocatalyst was discussed in detail. The strategy of forming novel p-n junction photocatalyst for both the Cr(VI) reduction and TC oxidation will benefit the development of the other new photocatalysts for the purpose of controlling and improving the environment.