DEVELOPMENT AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NANOSTRUCTURED TIO2 BASED PHOTOCATALYSTS FOR HYDROGEN PRODUCTION
The general objective of this project is to study the hydrogen production by photocatalysis of TiO2 nanomaterials. In principle, a solution of ethanol in water will be used for the hydrogen production. The use of water mixture with ethanol photo-splitting is an interesting way to produce hydrogen, mainly because the raw materials come from natural and recyclable resources such as water and sugar-cane, they are safe to handle and transport. They have low cos in comparison with oil, and Brail, our partner in this project, is one of the world’s biggest producers of ethanol.
The process is economically achievable, uses natural sun light as the energy source and may produce as by-products, mainly water and oxygen. TiO2 is a well-known material for photocatalytic applications. Under UV-light the material will split water into hydrogen by photooxidative process. Although using pure TiO2 the conversion rate of this reaction i slow, it can be increased using co-catalysts (e.g. Pt), organic electron donators or dopants. A frequently used material for photocatalysis is the Aeroxide TiO2-P25 by Evonik Degussa.
The aim of this project is to study the photocatalysis for hydrogen productioni on electrospun nano fibrous and nanopowder TiO2 materials. The influence of dopants as well as organic electron donators on the hydrogen conversion will be studied.
To be able to compare our results with international investigation on TiO2 photocatalysts for hydrogen generation it is necessary to synthesis nanopowder and nanopowder based electrodes with similar compositions.
The two groups will work on two different approaches. While the Brazilian partner UFRGS will mainly focus on photocatalytic behavior of TiO2 powder and nanofiber dispersions, the Swiss partner will mainly look on the development of photoelectrodes by using the same TiO2 nanopowder and fibers.
Dr. Frank CLEMENS
Prof. Carlos BERGMANN