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Photocatalytic reduction of U(VI) represents a novel and effective manner for the removal of U(VI) pollutant from radioactive wastewater. Herein, we successfully incorporated hydrogen into VO2 nanosheets, which strengthened the interaction between VO2 and U(VI), thereby achieving a highly active and stable photocatalyst for U(VI) reduction. With the increase of H content in hydric VO2 (Hx -VO2) nanosheets, the bandgap shrank from 2.29 to 1.66 eV, whereas the position of conduction bands remained more negative than the reduction potential of U(VI)/U(IV) (0.41 V vs. NHE). When irradiated by simulated sunlight, the U(VI) removal efficiency over H0.613-VO2 nanosheets reached up to 95.4% within 90 min, which largely outperformed 28.3% of pristine VO2 nanosheets. The mechanistic study demonstrated that the hydroxylated surface gave rise to the balanced O confinement sites in VO2 (011), leading to the stabilized adsorption configuration and increased binding strength of UO22+ on Hx -VO2 nanosheets.

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Publication history

Received: 20 August 2021
Revised: 22 September 2021
Accepted: 29 September 2021
Published: 16 November 2021
Issue date: September 2021

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundaiton of China (Nos. 21902130 and 21976147), Sichuan Science and Technology Program (Nos. 2020YFG0160, 2020YFG0191, 2020YFS0345, 2020JDJQ0060, and 2020JDRC0089), the project of State Key Laboratory of Environment-friendly Energy Materials in SWUST (No. 18fksy0218), research fund of SWUST for PhD (No. 18zx7149), Natural Science Foundation of Anhui province (Nos. 2008085QB81 and 2008085QA33), and the Education Department of Anhui Province Foundation (No. KJ2019A0503).

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