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Impact of three different TiO2 morphologies on hydrogen evolution by methanol assisted water splitting: Nanoparticles, nanotubes and aerogels

Abstract : Increasing the activity of a photocatalyst goes through the improvement of both its absorption (light) and adsorption (reactant) properties. For a given semiconducting material, the charge carrier separation is also a very important step. Properly combining chosen phases is one option to improve this separation (example of the commercial P25) and depositing platinum on the surface of the catalyst, another one. In some cases, coupling both may nevertheless lead to a decrease of photoactivity or at least limit the potentiality of the catalyst. A third option, consisting in modifying the morphology of the photoactive phase, has shown very promising results. In this study, we have elaborated, characterized and evaluated the hydrogen evolution potentiality (through methanol assisted water splitting) of different TiO2 morphologies: nanoparticles, nanotubes and aerogels. These materials have shown different behaviours depending on both their composition and morphology. Different types of separation processes have been claimed to account for the observed different photoactivities, with more or less pronounced synergetic effects, due to: the use of Pt as a co-catalyst, the mixture of different TiO2 phases (anatase and TiO2(B) or rutile) and the specific morphology of the samples (nanotubes or aerogels). Among all the tested samples, the TiO2 aerogel supported Pt one exhibited very promising performances, three times as active as P25 supported Pt, which is already much more active than pure P25 in our testing conditions.
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Daniela d'Elia, Christian Beauger, Jean-François Hochepied, Arnaud Rigacci, Marie-Hélène Berger, et al.. Impact of three different TiO2 morphologies on hydrogen evolution by methanol assisted water splitting: Nanoparticles, nanotubes and aerogels. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Elsevier, 2011, 36 (22), pp.14360-14373. ⟨10.1016/j.ijhydene.2011.08.007⟩. ⟨hal-00628795⟩

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