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Development of highly efficient multifunctional catalysts for solar fuels production

Moya A., Barawi M., Alemán B., Zeller P., Amati M., Monreal-Bernal A., Gregoratti L., de la Peña O’Shea V.A., Vilatela J. J. “Interfacial studies in CNT fibre/TiO2 photoelectrodes for efficient H2 production” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 268 (2020) 118613

Nowadays, there is a probed fact that there is an imperative need to develop new systems for the storage of renewable energy’s, as one of the biggest problems of it is the intermittence in the production. In this sense, photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are one of the most promising technologies to obtain fuels such as hydrogen (from water) or methanol, methane and so on (from CO2) using the solar energy as principal source. Photoactivated process unit is specialised on the synthesis and characterization of new materials which can be used as photocatalyst in this systems. In this way, recently a new scientific work based on the investigation of a hybrid materials formed by carbon nanotubes fibres (CNT) and TiO2 anatase was publish in collaboration with IMDEA Materials institute within the FotoArt-CM project (S2018/NMT-4367) entitled Interfacial studies in CNT fibre/TiO2 photoelectrodes for efficient H2 production. This architecture maximizes surface area and minimizes charge transport/transfer resistance. In fact, the use of this hybrids in PEC cells instead regular TiO2, exhibit an improvement in the performance, achieving a higher amount of hydrogen when illuminated the cell. This can be attributed to the following: 1) The surface area is bigger because of the morphology of the CNT 2) The electrical conductivity is better in the hybrid as the TiO2 formed a chemical bond with the CNT as probed in the synchrotron experiments. These systems seem to be very promising in the develop of new photocatalyst more efficient for obtaining solar fuels.

More information: Víctor de la Peña, Head of the Photoactivated Processes Unit victor.delapenya@imdea.org  

a-c) Electron micrographs of the interface between CNTs and TiO2. d) Linear sweep voltammetry of TiO2 (blue) and CNT-TiO2 Hybrid (red) photo-electrodes under chopped UV illumination at 10 mV/sec. e) Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER).
Event Date: 
Thursday, April 2, 2020