Solar light-driven simultaneous pharmaceutical pollutant degradation and green hydrogen production using a mesoporous nanoscale WO3/BiVO4 heterostructure photoanode
Journal article, 2023

Photoelectrocatalysis is one of the most favourable techniques that could be used in this remit as it has the potential to utilise natural sunlight to generate oxidants in situ to mediate effective pollutant degradation. This work, therefore, utilises a mesoporous nanoscale WO3/BiVO4 heterostructure photoanode to effectively degrade ibuprofen in wastewater combined with simultaneous green hydrogen generation at the cathode under simulated sunlight. A near complete degradation (>96%) of ibuprofen (starting concentration of 100 mg/L), with no hazardous intermediates (determined via mass spectrometry analysis), along with simultaneous H2 evolution of 114 ┬Ámol/cm2 after 145 min was demonstrated in this work. In addition, intermediate product analysis, the role of the type of in situ oxidants on degradation, the mechanistic pathway of degradation, and the material characteristics of mesoporous photoanode were also investigated. First experimental evidence of in situ generated H2O2 contributing to the degradation of ibuprofen is presented.

WO , BiVO 3 4


Wastewater treatment

Pharmaceutical pollutants

Solar Energy



Katherine Rebecca Davies

Swansea University

Michael G. Allan

Swansea University

Sanjay Nagarajan

University of Bath

Rachel Townsend

Swansea University Medical School

Tom Dunlop

Swansea University

James D. McGettrick

Swansea University

Vijayshankar Asokan

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material

Sengeni Ananthraj

Waseda University

Trystan Watson

Swansea University

A. Ruth Godfrey

Swansea University Medical School

J. R. Durrant

Swansea University

Imperial College London

M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Heriot-Watt University

Moritz F. Kuehnel

Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES

Swansea University

Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu

Heriot-Watt University

Swansea University

Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering

2213-2929 (ISSN) 2213-3437 (eISSN)

Vol. 11 3 110256

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Materials Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering



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