La-modified TiO2/carbon nanotubes assembly nanocomposite for efficient photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from glycerol-water mixture

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Abstract

Lanthanum (La) modified TiO2 embedded over carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to develop nanocomposite for enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from glycerol-water mixture has been investigated. The samples, synthesized by sol-gel assisted hydrothermal method, were characterized by XRD, FESEM, HRTEM, FTIR, BET, UV–Visible, Raman and PL spectroscopy. La/TiO2 anchored CNTs has larger surface area with uniform distribution of La3+ ions. The performance of hybrid assembly was evaluated in a continuous flow slurry photoreactor system under UV–visible light irradiations. The highest H2 evolution rate of 17265 ppm g-cat−1 h−1 was obtained over 5% La-5% CNTs/TiO2 NRs, 1.14 folds the amount produced over 5% La-5% CNTs/TiO2 NPs, 1.53 time than 5% La/TiO2 and 4.10 folds than using pure TiO2 NPs. This significant improvement in the photo-activity was obviously due to synergistic effect between La and CNTs, larger BET surface area, cleavage of glycerol by La, appropriate band structure, and hindered charges recombination rate. Among the sacrificial reagents, highest H2 evolution was obtained using glycerol due to the presence of α-hydrogen atoms attached to carbon atoms. A correlation between BET surface area and photonic flux in terms of photocatalytic H2 production rate was established to understand the performance of hybrid nanostructures. It was observed that BET surface area and photo-flux utilization for the generation of charge carriers with their efficient separation has significant contribution towards improved H2 production rate. More interestingly, catalyst persisted prolonged stability with a steady H2 production in cyclic runs. This study provides promising pathway for constructing composite of La/TiO2 coupled CNTs for efficient H2 production under visible light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3711-3725
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume44
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 5 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Glycerol
  • H production
  • La/TiO
  • Photo-catalysis
  • TiO/CNTs hybrid
  • Visible light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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