One of the challenges on the environmental area concerns to the development of efficient removal techniques for recalcitrant pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), carbon oxides (CO2 and CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The photocatalytic abatement of such compounds by a semiconductor catalyst has been proposed as a promising alternative process mainly due to its low operating cost and high efficiency. However, systematic studies regarding the method effectiveness in the pollutant removal in gas phase are still necessary, particularly regarding new classes of synthetic catalysts. Heterostructured systems have been extensively researched due to their significant increase in catalytic efficiency when compared to single components. In this context, this project aims to explore the versatility of the photocatalytic technique for abatement of gaseous effluents. For this, a new combination of semiconductors, g-C3N4/Nb2O5 heterostructure, never reported in the literature, will be studied. Therefore, we propose to develop a method of synthesis that will allow to control the physico-chemical and morphological characteristics of this material. The properties of solids will be evaluated in the removal of the gaseous pollutants. Nitric oxide will be used as a model molecule. The investigation of the influence of reaction operating parameters, such as temperature, UV or visible light radiation, initial mass of the photocatalyst, initial concentration of the gas, and presence of water vapor in the reaction mixture, will also be part of this study. Finally, we hope to conduct kinetic studies for the removal of contaminants in the gas phase and determine/quantify mineralization process intermediates through chromatographic techniques and mass spectrometry.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: