Research project funded by Mobilitas Pluss incoming postdoctoral grant (MOBJD1204).

Medicinal Plant Extract Mediated g-C3N4 Based Photo-catalysts for Environmental Applications

Principal Investigator: Dr. Priyanka Panchal

The project is designed to tackle the problem of contaminated water in a cost-effective way and simultaneously produce hydrogen (Green Energy). The project will boost interdisciplinary research and innovation in the EU by developing eco-friendly novel nanomaterials (g-C3N4) that exhibit photo-catalytic properties under UV and visible light excitation with industrial translational competence. The project is the first of its kind that attempts to study the green synthesis and applicability of g-C3N4 photo-catalyst for the elimination of microorganisms and organic pollutants (azo dyes, pesticides, pharmaceuticals…) from water while simultaneously producing H2. The photo-catalyst is produced using an earth-abundant element (plant extract). H2 will be generated from non-traditional resources (industrial wastewater). In this project, wastewater containing azo dyes will be treated to produce fuel (H2), which is within the framework of the ‘smart and sustainable energy solution’ specialization. The dye degradation will be done under natural sunlight, a sunlight simulator and visible light at the lab scale. The degradation of waste water to produce energy (H2) also promotes the development of circular economy and falls in the challenges of water pollution and zero carbon energy production. It tackles 3 major problems that are water pollution and scarcity, zero carbon energy production and climate change. Moreover, Human health sector, agriculture and animal husbandry, industries and energy production sectors will benefit from this technology.