Solar water disinfection catalyzed by metal-free photocatalyst has emerged as a promising approach for clean water production. By using the edge-functionalized graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) as photocatalytic disinfectants, we find that the pathogen-rich water can be rapidly purified in 30 min with a disinfection efficiency of over 99.9999% under visible-light irradiation, which meets the requirement for drinking water. The edge-functionalized g-C3N4 shows a first-order disinfection rate that is five times higher than the previously reported best metal-free photocatalyst but only consumes 1/10 of the catalyst. The catalytic activity is also comparable to that of the best metal-based photocatalyst. Results of the highest occupied molecular orbitals and Mulliken charge distribution reveal that the exposed –COOH and C=O groups at the edges of g-C3N4 nanosheets not only significantly promote charge separation but also induce the upward bending of the surface band, facilitating the generation of hydrogen peroxide.
Chem, Volume 5, Issue 3, March 2019, Pages 664-680.,