Recent development of organic–inorganic hybrid photocatalysts for biomass conversion into hydrogen production
Over the last few years, photocatalysis using solar radiation has been explored extensively to investigate the possibilities of producing fuels. The production and systematic usage of solar fuels can reduce the use of fossil-based fuels, which are currently the primary source for the energy. It is time for us to exploit renewable sources for our energy needs to progress towards a low-carbon society. This can be achieved by utilizing green hydrogen as the future energy source. Solar light-assisted hydrogen evolution through photocatalytic water splitting is one of the most advanced approaches, but it is a non-spontaneous chemical process and restricted by a kinetically demanding oxidation evolution reaction. Sunlight is one of the essential sources for the photoreforming (PR) of biomass waste into solar fuels, or/and lucrative fine chemicals. Hydrogen production through photoreforming of biomass can be considered energy neutral as it requires only low energy to overcome the activation barrier and an alternate method for the water splitting reaction. Towards the perspective of sustainability and zero emission norms, hydrogen production from biomass-derived feedstocks is an affordable and efficient process. Widely used photocatalyst materials, such as metal oxides, sulphides and polymeric semiconductors, still possess challenges in terms of their performance and stability. Recently, a new class of materials has emerged as organic–inorganic hybrid (OIH) photocatalysts, which have the benefits of both components, with peculiar properties and outstanding energy conversion capability. This work examines the most recent progress in the photoreforming of biomass and its derivatives using OIHs as excellent catalysts for hydrogen evolution. The fundamental aspects of the PR mechanism and different methods of hydrogen production from biomass are discussed. Additionally, an interaction between both composite materials at the atomic level has been discussed in detail in the recent literature. Finally, the opportunities and future perspective for the synthesis and development of OIH catalysts are discussed briefly with regards to biomass photo-reforming.
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