Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol.238, 533-545, 2018
Bimetallic Pt-Pd co-catalyst Nb-doped TiO2 materials for H-2 photo-production under UV and Visible light illumination
In this work we synthesized a series of binary PtPd co-catalysts supported on a Nb-doped TiO2 support. The catalytic solids and corresponding monometallic reference systems are characterized using X-ray diffraction, Xray photoelectron, and UV-vis spectroscopies, together with microscopy and porosimetry tools. Such characterization was able to show the formation of PtPd alloy particles in the bimetallic catalysts. The mono and bimetallic TiO2-based powders were tested in the photo-production of hydrogen from methanol:water mixtures under UV and visible illumination conditions. Analysis of catalytic properties was carried out through the measurement of the optical properties of the materials and the calculation of the true quantum efficiency parameter. Results indicate that the PtPd co-catalysts have superior performance that the Pt and Pd monometallic counterparts both under UV and visible illumination conditions. Optimum performance was achieved with a material having a Pt:Pd 1:1 atomic ratio. A remarkable increase in the use of the visible range and thus in sunlight utilization is achieved with the 1:1 Pt:Pd bimetallic system with respect to the monometallic counterparts. The evolution of the bimetallic co-catalysts under reaction conditions as well as their key properties to interpret photo-activity were analyzed with the help of the above mentioned techniques as well as photoluminescence spectroscopy and an in-situ infrared analysis of the materials under reaction conditions. Results point out the critical role that both PtPd alloying and the metal-support interface play in the reaction.