Topics in Catalysis 59 (2016) 394-402.
Clean energy production and environmental remediation on carbon-based photocatalysts are shown in this work. Firstly, Au-supported on nanoporous biochar-based materials were prepared and used for hydrogen photoproduction under visible light irradiation. In presence of biochars, the photocatalytic activity increased by a factor up to 3 times higher than that obtained on a neat commercial semiconductor. In second place, the photocatalytic activity of S- and N-doped carbons was verified in the methylene blue photodegradation under artificial solar irradiation. Normalizing the kinetic results in terms of the weight of samples, the present results showed an increase in the photocatalytic activity up to 30 and 5 times higher on S- and N-doped biochars, respectively, than that obtained on a commercial semiconductor. The present results suggest that micropores in carbon materials play the role of microreactors and therefore harvesting solar energy for environmental remediation and clean energy production is possible by using free-semiconductor biochar-based materials.