Composite photocatalysts comprising graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) and graphene materials were synthesized and evaluated in the photocatalysis of bisphenol A (BPA) with a focus on elucidating the reaction mechanism. Embedding reduced graphene oxide (rGO) to g-C3N4 significantly accelerated the photocatalysis rate of BPA by three folds under visible light irradiation at neutral pH. We showed that rGO synthesized in intimate contact with g-C3N4 increased the surface areas and electrical conductivity of the g-C3N4 composites and promoted the electron-hole pair separation. The BPA photodegradation mechanism involved selective oxidants as superoxide (O2•−) and singlet oxygen (1O2) that were formed through one-electron reduction of O2 and the unique oxidation of O2•− by photogenerated hole (h+), respectively. The synthesized photocatalyst exhibited superior visible light photoreactivity to that of N-doped P25 TiO2, good photo-stability and reuse potential, and was operative in complex wastewater. rGO embedded g-C3N4 achieved good photomineralization of BPA at 80% in 4 h compared to 40% of bare g-C3N4. This study sheds light on the photocatalysis mechanism of BPA with a metal-free, promising rGO/g-C3N4 photocatalyst.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis