16 May 2018
Source:Chemical Physics Letters, Volume 700
Author(s): Zhang Dedong, Halidan Maimaiti, Abuduheiremu Awati, Gunisakezi Yisilamu, Sun Fengchang, Wei Ming
The photocatalytic reduction of CO2 into hydrocarbons provides a promising approach to overcome the challenges of environmental crisis and energy shortage. Here we fabricated a cuprous oxide (Cu2O) based composite photocatalyst consisting of Cu2O/carbon nanoparticles (CNPs). To prepare the CNPs, coal samples from Wucaiwan, Xinjiang, China, were first treated with HNO3, followed by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) oxidation to strip nanocrystalline carbon from coal. After linking with oxygen-containing group such as hydroxyl, coal-based CNPs with sp2 carbon structure and multilayer graphene lattice structure were synthesized. Subsequently, the CNPs were loaded onto the surface of Cu2O nanoparticles prepared by in-situ reduction of copper chloride (CuCl2·2H2O). The physical properties and chemical structure of the Cu2O/CNPs as well as photocatalytic activity of CO2/H2O reduction into CH3OH were measured. The results demonstrate that the Cu2O/CNPs are composed of spherical particles with diameter of 50 nm and mesoporous structure, which are suitable for CO2 adsorption. Under illumination of visible light, electron-hole pairs are generated in Cu2O. Thanks to the CNPs, the fast recombination of electron-hole pairs is suppressed. The energy gradient formed on the surface of Cu2O/CNPs facilitates the efficient separation of electron-hole pairs for CO2 reduction and H2O oxidation, leading to enhanced photocatalytic activity.