International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.2, 801-808, 2019
Application of a photostable silver-assisted Z-scheme NiTiO3 nanorod/g-C3N4 nanocomposite for efficient hydrogen generation
The performance and reaction mechanism of a silver (Ag)-assisted one-dimensional NiTiO3 nanorod/CN heterostructure nanocomposite (NTACN) photocatalyst for hydrogen (H-2) production were explored with simulated sunlight. The physicochemical properties of the synthesized catalysts were examined using various spectrophotometers. The newly developed NTACN samples displayed an enhanced photocatalytic activity in producing hydrogen. Specifically, the H2 production rate of NTACN-5 (with a NT-to-ACN weight ratio of 5) was 3351 mu mol/g-h, which was 1.42 times higher than that of ACN-4 with a Ag-to-CN ratio of 4 (2325 mu mol/g-h). The effects of the Ag-to-CN and NiTiO3-to-ACN ratios on the photocatalytic activity of NTACN photocatalysts were determined. The NTACN photo catalysts exhibited a high long-term photostability under simulated sunlight irradiation. The increased photocatalyst performance and photostability were primarily ascribed to an improved charge separation efficiency due to a Z-scheme reaction mechanism as well as the assistance provided by Ag as a charge transfer shuttle and in the surface plasmon resonance effect. A photocatalytic mechanism for hydrogen generation over the NTACN photocatalysts under simulated sunlight irradiation is suggested. (C) 2018 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.