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Hydrogen and Oxygen Evolution in a Membrane Photoreactor Using Suspended Nanosized Au/TiO2 and Au/CeO2

Institute on Membrane Technology (ITM), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Via P. Bucci Cubo 17C, I-87036 Rende (CS), Italy
Research Centre of Portici, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), Piazzale Enrico Fermi 1, Portici, 80055 Napoli, Italy
Department of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci, 44/A, I-87036 Rende (CS), Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(1), 5;
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane and Membrane Reactors Operations in Chemical Engineering)
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Photocatalysis combined with membrane technology could offer an enormous potential for power generation in a renewable and sustainable way. Herein, we describe the one-step hydrogen and oxygen evolution through a photocatalytic membrane reactor. Experimental tests were carried out by means of a two-compartment cell in which a modified Nafion membrane separated the oxygen and hydrogen evolution semi-cells, while iron ions permeating through the membrane acted as a redox mediator. Nanosized Au/TiO2 and Au/CeO2 were employed as suspended photocatalysts for hydrogen and oxygen generation, respectively. The influence of initial Fe3+ ion concentration, ranging from 5 to 20 mM, was investigated, and the best results in terms of hydrogen and oxygen evolution were registered by working with 5 mM Fe3+. The positive effect of gold on the overall water splitting was confirmed by comparing the photocatalytic results obtained with the modified/unmodified titania and ceria. Au-loading played a key role for controlling the photocatalytic activity, and the optimal percentage for hydrogen and oxygen generation was 0.25 wt%. Under irradiation with visible light, hydrogen and oxygen were produced in stoichiometric amounts. The crucial role of the couple Fe3+/Fe2+ and of the membrane on the performance of the overall photocatalytic system was found. View Full-Text
Keywords: water splitting; Z-scheme; photocatalysis; photocatalytic membrane reactor water splitting; Z-scheme; photocatalysis; photocatalytic membrane reactor

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Marino, T.; Figoli, A.; Molino, A.; Argurio, P.; Molinari, R. Hydrogen and Oxygen Evolution in a Membrane Photoreactor Using Suspended Nanosized Au/TiO2 and Au/CeO2. ChemEngineering 2019, 3, 5.

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