Photocatalytic inactivation of viruses using graphitic carbon nitride-based photocatalysts: Virucidal performance and mechanism

Vasudha Hasija, Shilpa Patial, Pardeep Singh, Van Huy Nguyen, Quyet Van Le, Vijay Kumar Thakur, Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain, Rangabhashiyam Selvasembian, Chao Wei Huang*, Sourbh Thakur, Pankaj Raizada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


The prevalence of lethal viral infections necessitates the innovation of novel disinfection techniques for contaminated surfaces, air, and wastewater as significant transmission media of disease. The instigated research has led to the development of photocatalysis as an effective renewable solar-driven technology relying on the reactive oxidative species, mainly hydroxyl (OH) and superoxide (O2●−) radicals, for rupturing the capsid shell of the virus and loss of pathogenicity. Metal-free graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4), which possesses a visible light active bandgap structure, low toxicity, and high thermal stability, has recently attracted attention for viral inactivation. In addition, g-C3N4-based photocatalysts have also experienced a renaissance in many domains, including environment, energy conversion, and biomedical applications. Herein, we discuss the three aspects of the antiviral mechanism, intending to highlight the advantages of photocatalysis over traditional viral disinfection techniques. The sole agenda of the review is to summarize the significant research on g-C3N4-based photocatalysts for viral inactivation by reactive oxidative species generation. An evaluation of the photocatalysis operational parameters affecting viral inactivation kinetics is presented. An overview of the prevailing challenges and sustainable solutions is presented to fill in the existing knowledge gaps. Given the merits of graphitic carbon nitride and the heterogeneous photocatalytic viral inactivation mechanism, we hope that further research will contribute to preventing the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and future calamities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1448
Issue number12
Early online date28 Nov 2021
Publication statusFirst published - 28 Nov 2021


  • Graphitic carbon nitride
  • Healthcare
  • Photocatalysis
  • Viral inactivation


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