Photo-oxidation of chemical warfare agents is considered a promising strategy to cope with threats from accidental or intentional release. In this study, heterostructure photocatalysts comprising different amounts of zirconium oxide (ZrO2) over carbon nitride (CN) were synthesized via simple thermal exfoliation, followed by a precipitation method. The successful photocatalytic detoxification activity of the as-prepared photocatalyst was analyzed against 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (CEES) under simulated solar light and natural sunlight irradiation in dry and humid air. As the CN/ZrO2 demonstrated a high surface area and oxygen doping, the addition of small amounts of the ZrO2 phase could lead to enhanced photoreactivity in surface chemistry. The as-prepared (CN/ZrO2-II) degraded 95% of CEES under simulated solar light and 70% under natural sunlight within 90 min. The photo-detoxification of CEES was associated with the generation of holes (h+) and activation of oxygen to superoxide radicals (•O2). Based on analysis results, a reaction mechanism was suggested. The activity of the used photocatalyst could be recovered to 90% of the fresh photocatalyst activity via simple water washing. However, as sulfurous compounds were accumulated on the surface in subsequent cyclic tests, solvent washing was also suggested to maintain high detoxification performance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) and funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT ( 2020K1A4A7A02095371 ).
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis