Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Biomimetic Catalysts Based on [email protected] Composites for the Generation of Hydrogen by Water Splitting

Version 1 : Received: 8 July 2020 / Approved: 9 July 2020 / Online: 9 July 2020 (12:04:21 CEST)

How to cite: Machín, A.; Arango, J.C.; Fontánez, K.; Cotto, M.; Duconge, J.; Soto-Vázquez, L.; Resto, E.; Petrescu, F.I.T.; Morant, C.; Márquez, F.M. Biomimetic Catalysts Based on [email protected] Composites for the Generation of Hydrogen by Water Splitting. Preprints 2020, 2020070185 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0185.v1). Machín, A.; Arango, J.C.; Fontánez, K.; Cotto, M.; Duconge, J.; Soto-Vázquez, L.; Resto, E.; Petrescu, F.I.T.; Morant, C.; Márquez, F.M. Biomimetic Catalysts Based on [email protected] Composites for the Generation of Hydrogen by Water Splitting. Preprints 2020, 2020070185 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0185.v1).

Abstract

For some decades, the scientific community has been looking for alternatives to the use of fossil fuels that allow the planet's sustainable and environmentally friendly development. To do this, attempts have been made to mimic some processes that occur in nature, among which the photosystem-II stands out, which allows water splitting operating with different steps to generate oxygen and hydrogen. This research presents promising results using synthetic catalysts, which try to simulate some natural processes, and which are based on [email protected] compounds. These catalysts were prepared by incorporating different amounts of gold nanoparticles (1 wt.%, 3 wt.%, 5 wt.%, 10 wt.%) and graphene (1 wt.%) on the surface of synthesized zinc oxide nanowires (ZnO NWs), and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs), along with a commercial form (commercial ZnO) for comparison purposes. The highest amount of hydrogen (1,127 µmol/hg) was reported by ZnO NWs with a gold and graphene loadings of 10 wt.% and 1 wt.%, respectively, under irradiation at 400 nm. Quantities of 759 µmol / hg and 709 µmol / hg were obtained with catalysts based on ZnO NPs and commercial ZnO, respectively. The photocatalytic activity of all composites increased with respect to the bare semiconductors, being 2.5 times higher in ZnO NWs, 8.8 times for ZnO NPs and 7.5 times for commercial ZnO. The high photocatalytic activity of the catalysts is attributed, mainly, to the synergism between the different amount of gold and graphene incorporated, and the surface area of the composites.

Subject Areas

Hydrogen production; ZnO; gold nanoparticles; graphene; water splitting

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