Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a clean oxidant, and its demand has continuously risen in various industries for pulp/paper bleaching, chemical synthesis, wastewater treatment, etc. H2O2 is commercially produced by the anthraquinone method, which has some drawbacks, including (i) toxic solvent, (ii) explosive hydrogen gas as a precursor, and (iii) a high energy input; therefore, a new technology based on cost-effective and green processes is required. Photocatalytic production of H2O2 can be considered the most environmentally benign and economically feasible process because it requires only dissolved oxygen, water, and sunlight. Among various photocatalysts, polymeric carbon nitride (C3N4) is a promising candidate for H2O2 production by virtue of its (i) simple synthesis by a thermal polymerization, (ii) structure consisting of earth-abundant carbon and nitrogen, (iii) effective bandgap size for visible light absorption, and (iv) suitable position of conduction band for reduction of oxygen dissolved in water. In this minireview, the mechanism of H2O2 formation over C3N4 has been discussed, and the strategies to optimize the photocatalytic activity have been summarized regarding structural and surface modification techniques. This overview of diverse methodologies to selectively control electron transfer to dissolved oxygen should be in demand not only for developing new-generation C3N4-based materials, but also for commercialization of solar-light-driven photocatalytic H2O2 production system.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Research Lab (BRL) Program ( NRF-2018R1C1B6005143 ) funded by the Korea Government (MSIP) through the National Research Foundation (NRF). This work was also supported by the Korea Electric Power Corporation ( R18XA06-29 ).
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.
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