Photodecomposition of formic acid on N-doped and metal-promoted TiO 2 production of CO-free H 2

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The photoinduced vapor-phase decomposition of formic acid was investigated on pure, N-doped and metal-promoted TiO 2. The catalysts were characterized by bandgap determination, and by Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, the bandgap of N-doped TiO 2 was narrowed by 0.5-1.02 eV. IR studies revealed that illumination of the HCOOH-TiO 2 system initiated the decomposition of adsorbed formate species. On the IR spectra of metal-promoted TiO 2 adsorbed CO attached to the metals was also detected. The photodecomposition of formic acid on pure TiO 2 occurs to only a limited extent to yield H 2 and CO 2 as the major products with a small amount of CO. Depending on the origin of TiO 2 and on the preparation, N-doped TiO 2 exhibited higher activity. Its efficiency is increased with the narrowing of the bandgap, a feature attributed to the prevention of electron-hole recombination. The deposition of noble metals on pure and N-modified TiO 2 dramatically enhanced the extent of photodecomposition of formic acid. Pd/TiO 2 was found to be the most active catalyst. Addition of water to formic acid completely eliminated the small amount of CO formed. Both the N-doped TiO 2 and metal-promoted TiO 2 + N samples exhibited photocatalytic effects even in visible light. The promoting effect of metals was explained by a better separation of charge carriers induced by illumination and by improved electronic communication between metal particles and TiO 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15396-15405
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - Jul 26 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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