A biochar-promoted V2O5/g-C3N4 Z-Scheme heterostructure for enhanced simulated solar light-driven photocatalytic activity
A ternary biochar/vanadium pentoxide/graphite like carbon nitride (BC/V2O5/g-C3N4 denoted BC/VO/CN) composite was prepared by a simple hydrothermal method and its photocatalytic performance was investigated under simulated solar irradiation. The BC/VO/CN was characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. Within the BC/VO/CN composites VO nanoparticles were highly crystalline and intertwined with the lamellas of CN, resulting in the formation of well-defined Z-type heterostructures. The photocatalytic activity was evaluated using Rhodamine B as a model pollutant. Under simulated solar (230–780 nm) irradiation the as-prepared BC/VO/CN hybrid materials demonstrated highly improved photocatalytic activity compared to CN, VO and VO/CN. The cause of the solar enhancement could be ascribed to the formation of Z-type heterojunctions between VO and CN, which promoted faster electron–hole separation and more efficient charge transfer. BC, as an electron transfer medium, accelerated the transfer of photogenerated charge carriers and inhibited their recombination.