Hierarchical 3D VO 2 /ZnV 2 O 4 microspheres as an excellent visible light photocatalyst for CO 2 reduction to solar fuels

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73 Citations (Scopus)


The photocatalytic reduction of CO 2 has a great potential to produce fuels and chemicals, as well as, it reduces CO 2 emission and addresses the environmental issues. To date single metal based catalysts still suffer from lower efficiency, uncontrollable selectivity and instability. In this study, hierarchical microspheres (HMs) of ZnV 2 O 4 with VO 2 impurity were synthesized through the single step reduction process, to explore highly efficient photocatalyst towards visible light responsive photocatalytic CO 2 reduction. HMs of ZnV 2 O 4 were successfully synthesized with mesoporous structure, higher surface area and functional under visible light irradiations. The highest yield of CO and CH 3 OH of 378 and 202 µmole g-cat −1 h −1 were obtained over ZnV 2 O 4 synthesized after 24 h of reaction time, respectively. The performance of optimized 3D HMs of ZnV 2 O 4 for CO and CH 3 OH production was 2.30 folds and 10.7 folds higher than using ZnO/V 2 O 5 composite sample, respectively. Other products detected with appreciable amounts were CH 4 and C 2 H 6 . This reveals, HMs structure of ZnV 2 O 4 not only allows the transfer of electrons towards CO 2 , but also provides short pathways for electron transfer and empty space in the microspheres will serve as the reservoirs to store the electrons, hence leading to enhanced photoactivity. In addition, VO 2 presents in the sample further contribute to enhance performance of ZnV 2 O 4 HMs due to enabling efficient charge carrier separation. The prolong stability of ZnV 2 O 4 in the CO 2 reduction system confirmed that 3D HMs structure provides controllable selectivity and stability. This brings to conclusions that fabrication of hierarchical structures will stimulate further development towards high performance photo-catalysts for the photocatalytic CO 2 reduction to solar hydrocarbon fuels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1180
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D microspheres of ZnV O
  • CO reduction
  • Hierarchical structure
  • Hydrocarbon fuels
  • Ternary metal oxide
  • Zinc vanadium oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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