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A synergistic heterostructured ZnO/BaTiO3 loaded carbon photoanode in photocatalytic fuel cell for degradation of Reactive Red 120 and electricity generation

Ong, Yong-Por, Ho, Li-Ngee, Ong, Soon-An, Banjuraizah, Johar, Ibrahim, Abdul Haqi, Lee, Sin-Li, Nordin, Noradiba
Chemosphere 2019 v.219 pp. 277-285
barium titanate, carbon, cathodes, electricity generation, electrolytes, fuel cells, photocatalysis, photocatalysts, pollutants, sustainable technology, ultrasonic treatment, zinc oxide
Photocatalytic fuel cell (PFC) is considered as a sustainable green technology which could degrade organic pollutant and generate electricity simultaneously. A synergistic double-sided ZnO/BaTiO₃ loaded carbon plate heterojunction photoanode was fabricated in different ratios by using simple ultrasonication and mixed-annealed method. The double-sided design of photoanode allowed the lights irradiated at both sides of the photoanode. The ferroelectricity fabricated photoanode was applied in a membraneless PFC with platinum-loaded carbon as the cathode. Results revealed that the photoanode with 1:1 ratio of BaTiO₃ and ZnO exhibited a superior photocatalytic activity among all the photoanodes prepared in this study. The heterojunction of this photoanode was able to achieve up to a removal efficiency of 93.67% with a maximum power density of 0.5284 μW cm⁻² in 10 mg L⁻¹ of Reactive Red 120 (RR120) without any supporting electrolyte. This photoanode was able to maintain at high performance after recycling 3 times. Overloading of ZnO above 50% on BaTiO₃ could lead to deterioration of the performance of PFC due to the charge defects and light trapping ability. The interactions, interesting polarizations of the photocatalysts and proposed mechanism of the n-n type heterojunction in the photoanode of ZnO/BaTiO₃ was also discussed.