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Issue 39, 2016
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Hydrogen production based on a photoactivated nanowire-forest

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For several decades, the key challenge associated with thermochemical hydrogen generation has been the achievement of water splitting and catalyst regeneration at low temperatures while maintaining a reasonably high conversion efficiency over many cycles. Herein, we report low-temperature thermochemical hydrogen generation using hierarchically assembled iron oxide nanoarchitectures. Iron oxide nanoparticles conformally deposited onto a SnO2 nanowire forest allowed the splitting of water molecules and the production of hydrogen gas at temperatures of 400–800 °C, with a high specific gas-forming rate as high as ∼25 000 μmol per g per cycle (250 min). More remarkably, deep-ultraviolet photoactivation enabled low-temperature (200 °C) catalyst regeneration and thereby multiple cycles of hydrogen production without any significant coalescence of the oxide nanoparticles nor substantial loss of the water-splitting efficiency. Hierarchically arranged iron oxide nanoarchitectures, in combination with photochemical catalyst regeneration, are promising for practical hydrogen generation by harvesting wasted thermal energy, even at temperatures below 500 °C.

Graphical abstract: Hydrogen production based on a photoactivated nanowire-forest

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Supplementary files

Article information

21 Jul 2016
25 Aug 2016
First published
14 Sep 2016

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 14988-14995
Article type

Hydrogen production based on a photoactivated nanowire-forest

S. Lee, Z. Hanif, K. Seo, T. Lim, H. Shin, S. Park, S. H. Kim, S. K. Kwak, S. Hong, M. Yoon and S. Ju, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 14988
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA06172A

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