Photocatalytic Reduction of Aqueous Nitrate with Hybrid Ag/g-C3N4 under Ultraviolet and Visible Light
Varapragasam, Shelton J. P.
Andriolo, Jessica M.
Skinner, Jack L.
Grumstrup, Erik M.
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The concentration of nitrate in natural surface waters by agricultural runoff remains a challenging problem in environmental chemistry. One promising denitrification strategy is to utilize photocatalysts, whose light-driven excited states are capable of reducing nitrate to nitrogen gas. We have synthesized and characterized pristine and silver-loaded graphitic carbon nitrides and assessed their activity for photocatalytic nitrate reduction at neutral pH. While nitrate reduction does occur on the pristine material, the silver cocatalyst greatly enhances product yields. Kinetic studies performed in batch photoreactors under both UV and visible excitation suggest that nitrate reduction to produce aqueous nitrite, ammonium, and nitrogen gas proceeds via a cooperative water reduction on the silver metal domains to produce adsorbed H atoms. By varying the percentage of silver loading onto the g-C3N4, the density of metal domains can be adjusted, which in turn tunes the reduction selectivity toward various products.
Varapragasam, S. J., Andriolo, J. M., Skinner, J. L., & Grumstrup, E. M. (2021). Photocatalytic Reduction of Aqueous Nitrate with Hybrid Ag/g-C3N4 under Ultraviolet and Visible Light. ACS omega, 6(50), 34850-34856.