Graphitic carbon nitride based nanocomposites for the photocatalysis of organic contaminants under visible irradiation: Progress, limitations and future directions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 633 pp. 546 - 559
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has drawn great attention recently because of its visible light response, suitable energy band gap, good redox ability, and metal-free nature. g-C3N4 can absorb visible light directly, therefore has better photocatalytic ability under solar irradiation and is more energy-efficient than TiO2. However, pure g-C3N4 still has the drawbacks of insufficient light absorption, small surface area and fast recombination of photogenerated electron and hole pairs. This review summarizes the recent progress in the development of g-C3N4 nanocomposites to photodegrade organic contaminants in water. Element doping especially by potassium has been reported to be an efficient method to promote the degradation efficacy. In addition, compound doping improves photodegradation performance of g-C3N4, especially Ag3PO4-g-C3N4 which can completely degrade 10 mg L−1 of methyl orange under visible light irradiation in 5 min, with the rate constant (k) as high as 0.236 min−1. Moreover, co-doping enhances the photodegradation rate of multiple contaminants while immobilization significantly improves catalyst stability. Most of g-C3N4 composites possess high reusability enabling their practical applications in wastewater treatment. Furthermore, environmental conditions such as solution pH, reaction temperature, dissolved oxygen, and dissolved organic matter all have important effects on the photocatalytic ability of g-C3N4 photocatalyst. Future work should focus on the synthesis of innovative g-C3N4 nanocomposites for the efficient removal of organic contaminants in water and wastewater.
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