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Increase in hydrogen production from light and ethanol using a dual scale porosity photocatalyst


Stable photo-catalytic production of hydrogen is demonstrated under simulated solar irradiation from aqueous solutions of ethanol over a dual porosity 3D TiO2 nanotube array (TNTA). The photocatalytic material consists of a uniform layer of TNTAs grown on each titanium fiber of a commercial sintered titanium web (TNTA-web). Under simulated solar irradiation, a stable H2 production rate of 40 mmol h-1 m-2 is observed. In comparison, TNTAs grown on a flat titanium foil (TNTA-foil) do not produce H2 under the same conditions. The addition of small (4-5 nm) and well distributed Pd nanoparticles to the TNTA-web increases the production of hydrogen to 130 mmol h-1 m-2 with a Solar-to-Fuel efficiency of 0.45%. The same Pd loading on the TNTA-foil support produced a H2 production rate of 10 mmol h-1 m-2. Each catalytic materials are characterized by a combination of SEM, HR-TEM, XRD, XPS and Raman spectroscopy. The enhancement in H2 production is to be due to the increased light absorption properties of the TNTA-web material enabled by its unique dual porosity. Analysis of the reaction by-products show that ethanol is transformed into acetaldehyde as single oxidation product. Additionally, it is shown that an optimal Pd loading maximizes H2 production rate, since agglomeration of the metal nanoparticles takes place at high loading, decreasing the Pd-TiO2 interface where the photoreforming reactions take place.

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Nov 2017, accepted on 04 Apr 2018 and first published on 05 Apr 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7GC03508J
Citation: Green Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Increase in hydrogen production from light and ethanol using a dual scale porosity photocatalyst

    Y. Chen, V. Gombac, T. Montini, A. Lavacchi, J. Filippi, H. A. Miller, P. Fornasiero and F. Vizza, Green Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7GC03508J

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