MXene coupled graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets based plasmonic photocatalysts for removal of pharmaceutical pollutant

Kumar, Ajay; Majithia, Palak; Choudhary, Priyanka; Mabbett, Ian; Kuehnel, Moritz F.; Pitchaimuthu, Sudhagar and Krishnan, Venkata (2022). MXene coupled graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets based plasmonic photocatalysts for removal of pharmaceutical pollutant. Chemosphere, 308, article no. 136297.



The continuous rise in the amount of industrial and pharmaceutical waste in water sources is an alarming concern. Effective strategies should be developed for the treatment of pharmaceutical industrial waste. Hence the alternative renewable source of energy, such as solar energy, should be utilized for a sustainable future. Herein, a series of Au plasmonic nanoparticle decorated ternary photocatalysts comprising graphitic carbon nitride and Ti3C2 MXene has been designed to degrade colourless pharmaceutical pollutants, cefixime under visible light irradiation. These photocatalysts were synthesized by varying the amount of Ti3C2 MXene, and their catalytic potential was explored. The optimized photocatalyst having 3 wt% Ti3C2 MXene achieved 64.69% removal of the pharmaceutical pollutant, cefixime within 105 min of exposure to visible light. The presence of the Au nanoparticles and MXene in the nanocomposite facilitates the excellent charge carrier separation and increased the number of active sites due to the formation of interfacial contact with graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets. Besides, the plasmonic effect of the Au nanoparticles improves the absorption of light causing enhanced photocatalytic performance of the nanocomposite. Based on the obtained results, a plausible mechanism has been formulated to understand the contribution of different components in photocatalytic activity. In addition, the optimized photocatalyst shows excellent activity and can be reused for up to three cycles without any significant loss in its photocatalytic performance. Overall, the current work provides deeper physical insight into the future development of MXene graphitic carbon nitride-based plasmonic ternary photocatalysts.

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