A Bipolar CdS/Pd Photocatalytic Membrane for Selective Segregation of Reduction and Oxidation Processes

ACS Phys Chem Au. 2021 Nov 11;2(2):89-97. doi: 10.1021/acsphyschemau.1c00035. eCollection 2022 Mar 23.


A photocatalytically active bipolar membrane consisting of a CdS photocatalyst and Pd electrocatalyst has been constructed to carry out environmentally relevant oxidation and reduction processes. The ion exchange property of a bipolar membrane (BPM) has allowed us to load the CdS photocatalyst on one side and Pd electrocatalyst on the other side. By inserting the photocatalytic BPM-CdS/Pd membrane between the two compartments of an H-cell, we can separate the reduction and oxidation processes. Following visible light excitation of CdS in the BPM-CdS/Pd membrane, we can induce vectorial electron transfer from CdS to Pd and to an electron acceptor (4-nitrophenol). The holes generated at CdS are scavenged by ethanol or 4-chlorophenol. The photocatalytic reduction rate dependence on the Pd loading in the membrane as well as its effect on modulating the rates of electron and hole transfer processes are discussed. The design of a semiconductor and metal loaded membrane paves the way for improving selectivity and efficiency of photocatalytic processes.