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

1
Institute on Membrane Technology (ITM), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Via P. Bucci Cubo 17C, I-87036 Rende (CS), Italy
2
Research Centre of Portici, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), Piazzale Enrico Fermi 1, Portici, 80055 Napoli, Italy
3
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3010005
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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Abstract

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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