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Photoelectrocatalytic reduction of CO2 using band-structure engineering to produce TiO2NT/AgVO3/CuO or FTO/AgVO3/CuO cathodes in the presence of ionic liquids

Grant number: 19/27275-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): May 31, 2021
Effective date (End): November 29, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Technology
Principal researcher:Maria Valnice Boldrin
Grantee:João Angelo de Lima Perini
Supervisor abroad: Krishnan Rajeshwar
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington), United States  

Abstract

Currently, the topic energy has aroused the interest of various sectors of society due to the dilemma of meeting the growing energy demand without increasing the environmental damage caused by the exploitation of fossil fuels. In this context, the use of solar energy becomes extremely attractive due to its low environmental impact and the large supply of energy. Therefore, this proposal aims to improve the performance of photoelectrocatalytic reduction of CO2 using heterostructure materials. The construction of a Z-scheme heterojunction or type II heterojunction is an effective way to isolate photogenerated electron-holes and enhance the activity of the semiconductor during photocatalysis. For this, band-structure engineering will be used in order to increase the catalytic activity of the composite and align the valence band and conduction bands to generate fuels from CO2 reduction. Ionic liquids will be used during photoelectrocatalytic process to increase CO2 solubility in water. Besides that, another great contribution of this study will be to evaluate the interaction between the CO2 molecule-ionic liquid-electrode surface. Thus, this proposal will integrate the synthesis of new semiconductor materials using band-structure engineering able to take advantage of visible light to drive reduction of CO2 to added value compounds efficiently in a sustainable manner.