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Issue 5, 2018
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Pillaring and NiOx co-catalyst loading as alternatives for the photoactivity enhancement of K2Ti4O9 towards water splitting

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Abstract

Structural improvements of efficient and abundant photocatalysts and the employment of less expensive co-catalysts are appealing routes to promote the development of economically viable solar fuel production. We herein report a significant enhancement of the H2 production from photocatalytic water splitting over K2Ti4O9 after pillaring with TiO2 pillars and loading of NiOx as a co-catalyst. The pillaring favored the charge carrier separation within the photocatalyst framework under illumination, whereas the NiOx co-catalyst, composed of nickel metal nanoparticles and nanostructured NiO, intensified the electron–hole separation at the surface. These are unprecedented results indicated by surface photovoltage spectroscopy, which was applied for the first time in this kind of photocatalyst composite. All modifications enhanced the H2 evolution from 14.9 μmol, for the pristine K2Ti4O9, to 982.0 μmol, for the final product, after 7 h of irradiation tests using methanol as a hole scavenger. This boost was also favored by the mesoporosity and high surface area created by the pillaring process. Moreover, NiOx as the co-catalyst proved to be as effective as platinum and more effective than Ag and Au in this particular system.

Graphical abstract: Pillaring and NiOx co-catalyst loading as alternatives for the photoactivity enhancement of K2Ti4O9 towards water splitting

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Dec 2017, accepted on 10 Jan 2018 and first published on 10 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00589J
Citation: Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018,2, 958-967
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    Pillaring and NiOx co-catalyst loading as alternatives for the photoactivity enhancement of K2Ti4O9 towards water splitting

    M. A. Melo, S. A. Carminati, J. Bettini and A. F. Nogueira, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018, 2, 958
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00589J

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