Nanochemistry-derived Bi2WO6 nanostructures: towards production of sustainable chemicals and fuels induced by visible light
Low cost and easily made bismuth tungstate (Bi2WO6) could be one of the key technologies to make chemicals and fuels from biomass, atmospheric carbon dioxide and water at low cost using solar radiation as an energy source. Its narrow band gap (2.8 eV) enables ideal visible light (λ > 400 nm) absorption. Yet, it is the material's shape, namely the superstructure morphology wisely created via a nanochemistry approach, which leads to better electron–hole separation and much higher photoactivity. Recent results coupled to the versatile photochemistry of this readily available semiconductor suggest that the practical application of nanochemistry-derived Bi2WO6 nanostructures for the synthesis of value-added fine chemicals and fuel production is possible. We describe progress in this important field of chemical research from a nanochemistry viewpoint, and identify opportunities for further progress.