Preparation of ruthenium doped titanium dioxide heteronanostructures and its properties for splitting water into hydrogen
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The typical resources used to supply the world’s energy needs, such as coal and petroleum products, have been largely depleted. Due to this situation and the need for a cleaner environment, interest in alternative and renewable fuels for energy production has increased rapidly around the world. Hydrogen (H2) has distinguished itself as one of these potential energy vectors. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the development of new methods to generate H2 from renewable and sustainable resources to avoid the production of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel consumption. Hydrogen generation from photocatalytic water splitting particularly has the potential to solve both environmental issues and energy crisis, as sunlight and water are the most abundant, clean, renewable and natural energy resources on Earth. However, energy conversion efficiency for the visible light photocatalytic splitting of water is still very low. To address these issues, researchers have found that the loading of co-catalysts is an effective way to improve the overall reaction efficiency. These co-catalysts can create heterojunctions with the host photocatalyst to enhance charge separation, and meanwhile, serve as the active sites for the redox reactions on the photocatalyst surface. In this thesis report, photocatalyst based on ruthenium (Ru) doped titanium dioxide (TiO2) is constructed through a wet-impregnation reduction method with post thermal oxidation. The sample is characterized and its photocatalytic activities for water splitting is evaluated under solar light irradiation. The results of the photocatalytic tests show that Ru can improve the photocatalytic acitivity for water splitting. The impacts of mass loading and substrate material are also evaluated. The results indicates that the lower mass loading and higher roughness surface, the better the performance will be. This work provides an important reference for designing highly efficient photocatalysts for water splitting.
Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering