Heterogeneous Photocatalysis and Photoelectrocatalysis: From Unselective Abatement of Noxious Species to Selective Production of High-Value Chemicals

Augugliaro V., Camera-Roda G., Loddo V., Palmisano G., Palmisano L., Soria J., ...More

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, vol.6, no.10, pp.1968-1981, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Heterogeneous photocatalysis and photoelectrocatalysis have been considered as oxidation technologies to abate unselectively noxious species. This article focuses instead on the utilization of these methods for selective syntheses of organic molecules. Some promising reactions have been reported in the presence of various TiO2 samples and the important role played by the amorphous phase has been discussed. The low solubility of most of the organic compounds in water limits the utilization of photocatalysis. Dimethyl carbonate has been proposed as an alternative green organic solvent. The recovery of the products by coupling photocatalysis with pervaporation membrane technology seems to be a solution for future industrial applications. As far as photoelectrocatalysis is concerned, a decrease in recombination of the photogenerated pairs occurs, enhancing the rate of the oxidation reactions and the quantum yield. Another benefit is to avoid reaction(s) between the intermediates and the substrate, as anodic and cathodic reactions take place in different places.