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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (4) : 69
Photocatalytic water splitting of ternary graphene-like photocatalyst for the photocatalytic hydrogen production
Yan Zhang1(), Yuyan Zhang1, Xue Li1, Xiaohan Zhao1, Cosmos Anning1, John Crittenden2, Xianjun Lyu1
1. School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266000, China
2. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0595, USA
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•The MoS2/SiC/GO composite has a strong photocatalytic activity than SiC.

•The optimal catalyst yielded the highest quantum of 21.69%.

•GO acts as a bridge for electron passage in photocatalytic reaction.

In recent times, therehas been an increasing demand for energy which has resulted in an increased consumption of fossil fuels thereby posing a number of challenges to the environment. In the course finding possible solutions to this environmental canker, solar photocatalytic water splitting to produce hydrogengas has been identified as one of the most promising methods for generating renewable energy. To retard the recombination of photogenerated carriers and improve the efficiencyof photocatalysis, the present paper reports a facile method called the hydrothermal method, which was used to prepare ternary graphene-like photocatalyst. A “Design Expert” was used to investigate the influence of the loading weight of Mo and GO as well as the temperature of hydrothermal reaction and their interactions on the evolution of hydrogen (H2) in 4 h. The experimental results showed that the ternary graphene-like photocatalyst has a strong photocatalytic hydrogen production activity compared to that of pure SiC. In particular, the catalyst added 2.5 wt% of GO weight yielded the highest quantum of 21.69 % at 400–700 nm of wavelength. The optimal evolution H2 in 4 h conditions wasobtained as follows: The loading weight of Mo was 8.19 wt%, the loading weight of GO was 2.02 wt%, the temperature of the hydrothermal reaction was 200.93°C. Under the optimum conditions, the evolution of H2 in 4 h could reach 4.2030 mL.

Keywords Water splitting      Visible light      Graphene-like photocatalyst      Response surface methodology     
Corresponding Author(s): Yan Zhang   
Issue Date: 28 April 2020
 Cite this article:   
Yan Zhang,Yuyan Zhang,Xue Li, et al. Photocatalytic water splitting of ternary graphene-like photocatalyst for the photocatalytic hydrogen production[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2020, 14(4): 69.
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Yan Zhang
Yuyan Zhang
Xue Li
Xiaohan Zhao
Cosmos Anning
John Crittenden
Xianjun Lyu
Variables Symbol Code levels
–1 0 1
Loading weight of Mo (wt%) A 2 6 10
Loading weight of GO (wt%) B 1 2 3
Temperature of hydrothermal reaction (°C) C 180 200 220
Tab.1  Symbols and coded
Run Coded values H2 evolution in 4 h (mL)
1 –1 –1 0 3.8132
2 0 0 0 4.2757
3 0 0 0 4.2757
4 –1 0 –1 3.7989
5 0 0 0 4.2757
6 –1 1 0 3.8149
7 1 –1 0 3.8146
8 0 –1 –1 3.8268
9 –1 0 1 3.8194
10 1 0 –1 3.8002
11 0 1 1 3.8757
12 0 0 0 4.2757
13 0 0 0 4.2757
14 1 0 1 3.8412
15 1 1 0 3.8329
16 0 1 –1 3.8311
17 0 –1 1 3.8594
Tab.2  Design and experimental results
Fig.1  SEM image of (a) pure SiC, (b) SMG-2.5 and element mapping images SMG-2.5 (c–f), (g) SMG-2.5 catalyst after circular reaction (SMG-C2.5).
Fig.2  (a) XRD patterns, (b) nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms and the pore-size distribution curves (inset).
Fig.3  (a) UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra and (b) Corresponding Tauc plots.
Fig.4  XPS spectra of (a) C 1s of pure SiC, (b) C 1s of SMG-2.5, (c) Si 2p of pure SiC, (d) Si 2p of SMG-2.5, (e) Mo 3d and (f) S 2p in SMG-2.5 sample, (g) VB-XPS of SiC, (h) VB-XPS of MoS2.
Fig.5  (a) Volume of H2 in 4 h over the composites. (b) Rate of generating H2 in 4 h over composites. (c)–(g) Recycling H2 evolution tests over MoS2/SiC/GO composites.
Source Sum of Squares df Mean Square F value Prod>F
Model 0.71 9 0.078 12662.57 <0.0001
A 2.475×10–3 1 2.475×10–3 40.05 0.0004
B 2.060×10–3 1 2.060×10–3 33.33 0.0007
C 2.336×10–3 1 2.336×10–3 377.91 <0.0001
AB 6.889×10–4 1 6.889×10–4 11.15 0.0124
AC 8.556×10–4 1 8.556×10–4 13.84 0.0075
BC 3.600×10–4 1 3.600×10–4 5.82 0.0465
A2 0.25 1 0.25 40294.37 <0.0001
B2 0.19 1 0.19 30151.75 <0.0001
C2 0.19 1 0.19 31156.01 <0.0001
Pure Error 0 4 0
Cor Total 0.71 16
Tab.3  Regression model and variance analysis
Fig.6  3D response surface and contour plots of the H2 evolution in 4 h: (a) loading weight of Mo and loading weight of GO, (b) loading weight of Mo and temperature of the hydrothermal reaction, (c) loading of GO and temperature of the hydrothermal reaction, (d) the photocatalytic hydrogen production mechanism in the MoS2/SiC/ GO photocatalyst.
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