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Production of Hydrogen by Glycerol Photoreforming Using Binary Nitrogen–Metal-Promoted N-M-TiO2 Photocatalysts



The need for renewable energy focuses attention on hydrogen obtained by using sustainable and green methods. The sustainable compound glycerol can be used for hydrogen production by heterogeneous photocatalysis. A novel approach involves the promotion of the TiO2 photocatalyst with a binary combination of nitrogen and transition metal. We report the synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of the new N-M-TiO2 photocatalysts (M=none, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu), and the photocatalytic reforming of glycerol to hydrogen under ambient conditions and near-UV or visible light versus benchmark P25 TiO2. In units of activity μmol m−2 h−1, N-Ni-TiO2 is five-fold more active than P25, and N-Cu-TiO2 is 44-fold more active. The photocatalytic activity of N-M-TiO2 increases from Cr to Co and Ni, whereas the photoluminescence decreases; the change in activity is due to the modulation of charge recombination.