Systematic study of TiO2/ZnO mixed metal oxides for CO2 photoreduction†
A two component three degree simplex lattice experimental design was employed to evaluate the impact of different mixing fractions of TiO2 and ZnO on an ordered mesoporous SBA-15 support for CO2 photoreduction. It was anticipated that the combined advantages of TiO2 and ZnO: low cost, non-toxicity and combined electronic properties would facilitate CO2 photoreduction. The fraction of ZnO had a statistically dominant impact on maximum CO2 adsorption (β2 = 22.65, p-value = 1.39 × 10−4). The fraction of TiO2 used had a statistically significant positive impact on CO (β1 = 9.71, p-value = 2.93 × 10−4) and CH4 (β1 = 1.43, p-value = 1.35 × 10−3) cumulative production. A negative impact, from the interaction term between the fractions of TiO2 and ZnO, was found for CH4 cumulative production (β3 = −2.64, p-value = 2.30 × 10−2). The systematic study provided evidence for the possible loss in CO2 photoreduction activity from sulphate groups introduced during the synthesis of ZnO. The decrease in activity is attributed to the presence of sulphate species in the ZnO prepared, which may possibly act as charge carrier and/or radical intermediate scavengers.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Editors' Collection: Nanomaterials for the environment