Enhanced solar-light-driven photocatalytic properties of novel Z-scheme binary BiPO4 nanorods anchored onto NiFe2O4 nanoplates: Efficient removal of toxic organic pollutants


Jaesool Shim , Ravindranadh Koutavarapu , Mohan Rao Tamtam , Chimpiri Rao Myla , Migyung Cho

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2020.09.021

Received June 04, 2020,Revised , Accepted September 21, 2020, Available online October 20, 2020

Volume 102,2021,Pages 326-340

Global environmental problems have been increasing with the growth of the world economy and have become a crucial issue. To replace fossil fuels, sustainable and eco-friendly catalysts are required for the removal of organic pollutants. In this study, nickel ferrite (NiFe2O4) was prepared using a simple wet-chemical synthesis, followed by calcination; bismuth phosphate (BiPO4) was also prepared using a hydrothermal method. Further, NiFe2O4/BiPO4 nanocomposites were prepared using a hydrothermal technique. Numerous characterization studies, such as structural, morphology, surface area, optical, photoluminescence, and photoelectrochemical investigations, were used to analyze NiFe2O4/BiPO4 nanocomposites. The morphology analysis indicated a successful decoration of BiPO4 nanorods on the surface of NiFe2O4 nanoplate. Further, the bandgap of the NiFe2O4/BiPO4 nanocomposites was modified owing to the formation of a heterostructure. The as-prepared NiFe2O4/BiPO4 nanocomposite exhibited promising properties to be used as a novel heterostructure for tetracycline (TC) and Rhodamine B (RhB) removal. The NiFe2O4/BiPO4 nanocomposite degrades TC (98%) and RhB (99%) pollutants upon solar-light irradiation within 100 and 60 min, respectively. Moreover, the trapping experiments confirmed the Z-scheme approach of the prepared nanocomposites. The efficient separation and transfer of photogenerated electron-hole pairs rendered by the heterostructure were confirmed by utilizing electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, photocurrent experiments, and photoluminescence. Mott–Schottky measurements were used determine the positions of the conduction and valence bands of the samples, and the detailed mechanism of photocatalytic degradation of toxic pollutants was projected and discussed.

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