Faculty Advisor

Zhou, Hong Susan

Project Center

Shanghai, China


This project details a study on the modification of monoclinic BiVO4 photocatalyst with gold nanoparticles for the degradation of 4-chlorophenol. It adapts methodologies in the literature for the synthesis of thin film semiconductor photocatalyst electrodes and photoelectrochemical characterization techniques, including voltammetry and chronoamperometry, to compare BiVO4 modified with 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, and 4 wt% gold to its unmodified form. Additional parameters explored were the material of the counter electrode, the electrical potential bias, the spectra of illumination, and the addition of hydrogen peroxide. Analysis of data suggested that 2 wt% Au/BiVO4 was the most suitable thin film electrode for the degradation of 4-chlorophenol in a H2O2-Na2SO4 electrolyte.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering