Magnetically responsive SnFe2O4/g-C3N4 hybrid photocatalysts with remarkable visible-light-induced performance for degradation of environmentally hazardous substances and sustainable hydrogen production
SnFe2O4/g-C3N4 (SFO/CN) hybrids were fabricated as efficient magnetically recoverable and visible-light-responsive photocatalysts via a facile in situ precipitation method. The photocatalytic activities of the fabricated SFO/CN hybrids were assessed on the basis of their ability to degrade environmentally hazardous dyes (Rhodamine B, methylene blue, and methyl orange) and to produce H2 under visible light. The SFO/CN hybrids displayed outstanding performance toward both the elimination of dye pollutants and the production of H2, demonstrating several-fold enhancements compared with the performances of the hybrids' CN and SFO components and a commercial P25 catalyst. This enhancement in the photocatalytic performance of the SFO/CN hybrids predominantly corresponds to the synergetic effect between CN and SFO that improves not only their specific surface area and optical absorption capability but also the separation efficiency of photoexcited electrons and holes. Total organic carbon analysis further demonstrated the efficient mineralization of model dye molecules over the SFO/CN hybrids. In addition, the SFO/CN hybrids could be easily recovered magnetically and exhibited notable recyclability without obvious loss of activity after five consecutive photocatalytic test cycles, demonstrating their strong potential for use in practical applications, especially pollutant elimination and sustainable H2 production.