Platinized WO3 as an Environmental Photocatalyst that Generates OH Radicals under Visible Light

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School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang 790-784, Korea, and Green Chemistry Division, KRICT, Daejeon 305-600, Korea
* Corresponding author e-mail: [email protected]; fax: +82-54-279-8299.
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2010, 44, 17, 6849–6854
Publication Date (Web):August 10, 2010
Copyright © 2010 American Chemical Society
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This study aims to understand the visible light photocatalytic activities of platinized WO3 (Pt/WO3) on the degradation of aquatic pollutants and the role of main photooxidants. The presence of Pt on WO3 is known to facilitate the multielectron reduction of O2, which enables O2 to serve as an electron acceptor despite the insufficient reduction potential of the conduction band electrons (in WO3) for the one-electron reduction of O2. The concurrent oxidative reactions occurring on WO3 were markedly enhanced in the presence of Pt and accompanied the production of OH radicals under visible light, which was confirmed by both a fluorescence method (using a chemical trap) and a spin trap method. The generation of OH radicals mainly comes from the reductive decomposition of H2O2 that is produced in situ from the reduction of O2 on Pt/WO3. The rate of in situ production of H2O2 under visible light was significantly faster with Pt/WO3 than WO3. Six substrates that were tested for the visible light (λ > 420 nm) induced degradation on Pt/WO3 included dichloroacetate (DCA), 4-chlorophenol (4-CP), tetramethylammonium (TMA), arsenite (As(III)), methylene blue (MB), and acid orange 7 (AO7). The degradation (or conversion) of all six substrates was successfully achieved with Pt/WO3 and the role of OH radicals in Pt/WO3 photocatalysis seemed to be different depending on the kind of substrate. In the presence of tert-butyl alcohol (TBA: OH radical scavenger), the photocatalytic degradation was markedly reduced for 4-CP or completely inhibited for DCA and TMA whereas that of As(III), MB, and AO7 was little affected. Pt/WO3 photocatalyst that oxidizes various substrates under visible light with a sufficient photostability can be applied for solar water treatment.

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High-resolution TEM image of Pt/TiO2, fluorescence spectra of the coumarin−OH adduct, catalytic decomposition of H2O2 along with O2 generation in the dark suspensions of WO3 and Pt/WO3, dyes degradation on Pt/WO3 under two visible light irradiation conditions, and photostability test of Pt/WO3. This information is available free of charge via the Internet at

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