This project is proposed for one-year stay of Dr. Kele Tatiane Gomes Carvalho at the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) in the "Energy Storage and Energy Harvesting" group from the Advanced Materials for Energy Research Department in Barcelona under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Andreu. The project aims to explore a novel application of a promising material developed during FAPESP Project #2015/12304-0, g-C3N4:Nb2O5 heterostructure, as photocatalyst for carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction to valuable hydrocarbons. Overall results in the as-mentioned project have indicated that this material is a very active catalyst for the abatement (oxidation) of different pollutants under visible light. However, recent preliminary results revealed its interesting potential for reductive reactions under same conditions. Therefore, the main focus is to investigate the properties of this material as a UV and visible-light-driven photocatalyst for CO2 reduction as a means of converting solar energy to a chemical form. For this purpose, a series of g-C3N4:Nb2O5 heterestructures will be studied, following the previously developed materials. Therefore, we propose to investigate the synthesis parameters that influence its photoactivity on the generation of CO, CH4 and others product. The investigation of reaction operating parameters, such as intensity and spectrum of light irradiation, reaction temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration, initial mass of the photocatalyst, as well as the elucidation of the reaction mechanism will also be part of this study. The experience of Dr. Andreu's research group in solid/liquid and solid/gas photo(electro)reduction systems as well as the benchmarks of her group in the CO2 reduction reaction are of fundamental importance to achieve high level results in a short period. In addition, the concepts derived from this study may be transferred later to the full photo-dissociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen, or even to the photo-oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOC).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: