Synthesis and characterization of a g-C3N4-based photocatalytic membrane for CO2 reduction in a micro-flow reactor

Background and motivation
Photocatalytic reduction ofCO2 (artificial photosyntheticCO2 reduction) is a promising technology to captureCO2 and simultaneously convert it into solar fuels. To increase the overall efficiency of this process, the development of highly efficient catalysts and the implementation of a suitable photoreactor configuration is crucial.



In heterogeneous photocatalytic processes, the photocatalytic materials can be used in the form of powders or thin membranes. Compared to powdered photocatalysts, photocatalytic membranes can be prepared by incorporating active photocatalysts in or on a substrate, effectively solving the problems of photocatalyst loss and agglomeration. Various photocatalysts have been developed so far, and graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has been shown to be a promising material in the form of metal-free and visible light-responsive photocatalysts in the field of solar energy conversion and environmental remediation.

In this project, we have attempted to combine the advantages of membrane technology with photocatalysis. A state-of-the-art microflux photoreactor coupled with an optical fiber for precise light irradiation has been fabricated and studied by former IMVT researchers. It will be integrated with membrane technology for the photocatalytic reduction ofCO2 in a multiphase system.

Specifically, g-C3N4 will be synthesized and then combined with a membrane (e.g. a porous carbon membrane) by spray coating technology to prepare g-C3N4-based photocatalytic membranes for the photocatalytic reduction ofCO2 with liquid water.


Task description
This work focuses on the synthesis and characterization of g-C3N4-based photocatalytic membranes. The photocatalytic properties of the produced membranes will be tested in a continuous flow microreactor forCO2 reduction using the apparatus established at IMVT. This work is mainly experimental and based on the combined knowledge of materials engineering and photocatalytic technology. The following specific tasks will be carried out within the project:

- Design and synthesis of g-C3N4-based photocatalysts
- Preparation of g-C3N4-based photocatalytic composite membranes by spray coating
- Characterization of the synthesized photocatalysts and composite membranes
- Testing and analyzing the photocatalyticCO2 efficiency with the produced materials


Start date: as soon as possible
Supervisor: Dr. Jinju Zhang

Phone: 0721-608-24088