New nanostructured silica incorporated with isolated Ti material for the photocatalytic conversion of CO2 to fuels
1 Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino 10129, Italy
2 Department of Chemical Engineering, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, M A Jinnah Building, Defence Road, Off Raiwind Road, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:158 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-158Published: 1 April 2014
In this work, new nanoporous silica (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology-6 (KIT-6)-dried or KIT-6-calcined) incorporated with isolated Ti materials with different Si/Ti ratios (Si/Ti = 200, 100, and 50) has been synthesized and investigated to establish photocatalytic reduction of CO2 in the presence of H2O vapors. The properties of the materials have been characterized through N2 adsorption/desorption, UV-vis, TEM, FT-IR, and XPS analysis techniques. The intermediate amount of the isolated Ti (Si/Ti = 100) has resulted to be more uniformly distributed on the surface and within the three-dimensional pore structure of the KIT-6 material, without its structure collapsing, than the other two ratios (Si/Ti = 200 and 50). However, titania agglomerates have been observed to have formed due to the increased Ti content (Si/Ti = 50). The Ti-KIT-6 (calcined) materials in the reaction showed higher activity than the Ti-KIT-6 (dried) materials, which produced CH4, H2, CO, and CH3OH (vapors) as fuel products. The Ti-KIT-6 (Si/Ti = 100) material also showed more OH groups, which are useful to obtain a higher production rate of the products, particularly methane, which was even higher than the rate of the best commercial TiO2 (Aeroxide P25, Evonik Industries AG, Essen, Germany) photocatalyst.