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H 2 Production By The Photocatalytic Reforming Of Cellulose And Raw Biomass Using Ni, Pd, Pt And Au On Titania

A. Caravaca, W. Jones, C. Hardacre, M. Bowker

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Here, we report a method for sustainable hydrogen production using sunlight and biomass. It is shown that cellulose can be photoreformed to produce hydrogen, even in solid form, by use of metal-loaded titania photocatalysts. The experiments performed verified that the process is enabled by initial hydrolysis via glucose, which itself is shown to be efficiently converted to produce hydrogen by photocatalysis. Importantly, it is shown that not only precious metals such as Pt, Pd and Au can be used as the metal component, but also much more economic and less environmentally damaging Ni is effective. Even more importantly, we show for the first time, to the best our knowledge, that fescue grass as raw biomass can be effective for hydrogen production without significant pre-treatment. This provides additional benefits for the efficiency of biomass hydrogen production, because fewer processing steps for the raw material are required than in the production of purer forms of cellulose, for example.