Room Temperature Stable CO[subscript x]-Free H₂ Production from Methanol with Magnesium Oxide Nanophotocatalysts
Author(s)Liu, Z.; Cox, C.; Bosman, M.; Li, N.; Zhao, H.; Du, Y.; Nocera, D. G.; Yin, Zongyou; Qian, Xiaofeng; Li, J.; ... Show more Show less
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Methanol, which contains 12.6 weight percent hydrogen, is a good hydrogen storage medium because it is a liquid at room temperature. However, by releasing the hydrogen, undesirable CO and/or CO₂ byproducts are formed during catalytic fuel reforming. We show that alkaline earth metal oxides, in our case MgO nanocrystals, exhibit stable photocatalytic activity for CO/CO₂ -free H₂ production from liquid methanol at room temperature. The performance of MgO nanocrystals toward methanol dehydrogenation increases with time and approaches ~320 μmol g-1 hour-1 after a 2-day photocatalytic reaction. The CO[subscript x]-free H₂ production is attributed to methanol photodecomposition to formaldehyde, photocatalyzed by surface electronic states of unique monodispersed, porous MgO nanocrystals, which were synthesized with a novel facile colloidal chemical strategy. An oxygen plasma treatment allows for the removal of organic surfactants, producing MgO nanocrystals that are well dispersible in methanol.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biological Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Liu, Z. et al. “Room Temperature Stable CO[subscript x]-Free H₂ Production from Methanol with Magnesium Oxide Nanophotocatalysts.” Science Advances 2, 9 (September 2016): e1501425 © 2016 The Authors
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