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Plastic waste as a feedstock for solar-driven H2 generation

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Abstract

Solar-driven reforming of plastics offers a simple and low-energy means to turn waste into H2. Here, we report the efficient photoreforming of three commonly produced polymers – polylactic acid, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyurethane – using inexpensive CdS/CdOx quantum dots in alkaline aqueous solution. This process operates under ambient temperature and pressure, generates pure H2 and converts the waste polymer into organic products such as formate, acetate and pyruvate. We further validate the real-world applicability of the system by converting a PET water bottle into H2. This is the first demonstration of visible light-driven, noble metal-free photoreforming of plastic.

Graphical abstract: Plastic waste as a feedstock for solar-driven H2 generation

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 May 2018, accepted on 06 Aug 2018 and first published on 23 Aug 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE01408F
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, Advance Article
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    Plastic waste as a feedstock for solar-driven H2 generation

    T. Uekert, M. F. Kuehnel, D. W. Wakerley and E. Reisner, Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8EE01408F

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