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Open AccessArticle

Hydrogen Production from Aqueous Methanol Solutions Using Ti–Zr Mixed Oxides as Photocatalysts under UV Irradiation

1
Division of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering, Campus Los Altos, University of Guadalajara, Av. Rafael Casillas Aceves 1200, Tepatitlán de Morelos, Jalisco 47600, Mexico
2
Department of Chemistry, Iztapalapa Unit, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Av. San Rafael Atlixco No 189, Mexico City 09340, Mexico
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, Laboratorio de Catálisis, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de, Morelia 58060, Mexico
4
Departamento de Ingeniería en Control y Automatización, Escuela Superior de Ingeniería Mecánica y Eléctrica-Zacatenco, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, UPALM, Av. Politécnico S/N, Col. Zacatenco, Alcaldía Gustavo A. Madero, Ciudad de México 07738, México
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2019, 9(11), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9110938 (registering DOI)
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 3 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Nanocomposite Materials)
The synthesis and characterisation of Ti–Zr mixed oxides containing 1 to 10 wt.% of Zr is herein reported. In addition, the samples were tested as photocatalysts in the generation of hydrogen from aqueous methanol solutions. The solids were prepared by sol-gel and then characterised by X-ray diffraction, high resolution electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, physisorption of nitrogen, scanning electron microscopy, UV-vis and Raman spectroscopies. The results show the presence of anatase as a predominant structure and the oxides present larger specific surface areas than that of pure titania. A maximum value of 168 m2/g was determined for the sample with 5 wt.% of zirconium. The calculated band gap energies varied from 3.05 to 3.15 eV. It was observed that the greater the zirconium content in the solid, the higher the generation rate of hydrogen when testing the Ti–Zr solids as photocatalysts. Under our experimental conditions, the best catalyst, Ti–Zr oxide with 10 wt. % Zr, showed a production rate of 2100 μmol of H2/h which was about tenfold higher than that observed for pure titania.
Keywords: hydrogen production; photocatalysis; mixed oxide; nanocomposite; photocatalysts hydrogen production; photocatalysis; mixed oxide; nanocomposite; photocatalysts
MDPI and ACS Style

Pérez-Larios, A.; Rico, J.L.; Anaya-Esparza, L.M.; Vargas, O.G.; González-Silva, N.; Gómez, R. Hydrogen Production from Aqueous Methanol Solutions Using Ti–Zr Mixed Oxides as Photocatalysts under UV Irradiation. Catalysts 2019, 9, 938.

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