Conventional wastewater treatment processes are not able to efficiently remove many pollutants of emerging concern. Advanced oxidative processes are very promising in this regard, especially those based on heterogeneous photocatalysis. In this context, new photocatalytic materials have been studied as an alternative to commercial titanium dioxide, whose main disadvantage is the very limited absorption in the solar spectrum. In contrast, WO3-based catalysts have a bandgap energy range of 2.5 to 2.8 eV, allowing the use of about 12% of the solar spectrum up to 500 nm. However, these semiconductors still perform poorly in pollutants degradation, requiring additional improvements, such as doping and chemical additives. In previous studies by the research group, the best conditions for the synthesis of improved silver-doped WO3 materials by the hydrothermal method have already been determined, but further developments are still needed. In this context, the present project aims to carry out a systematic study of the influence of different chemical additives (sodium chloride, citric acid, urea, polyethylene glycol, potassium sulfate, and sodium sulfate) on the synthesis of silver-doped WO3 photocatalysts. All synthesized materials will be characterized by different techniques and tested in photocatalytic assays using acetaminophen as a model contaminant of emerging concern and a solar simulator as the radiation source.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: