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Towards Computer-Aided Graphene Covered TiO2-Cu/(CuxOy) Composite Design For The Purpose Of Photoinduced Hydrogen Evolution

Łukasz Lewandowski, Agnieszka Gajewicz-Skretna, Tomasz Klimczuk, Grzegorz Trykowski, Kostiantyn Nikiforow, Wojciech Lisowski, Anna Gołąbiewska, Adriana Zaleska-Medynska

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In search a hydrogen source, we synthesized TiO2-Cu-graphene composite photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution. The catalyst is a new and unique material as it consists of copper-decorated TiO2 particles covered tightly in graphene and obtained in a fluidized bed reactor. Both, reduction of copper from Cu(CH3COO) at the surface of TiO2 particles and covering of TiO2-Cu in graphene thin layer by Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) were performed subsequently in the flow reactor by manipulating the gas composition. Obtained photocatalysts were tested in regard to hydrogen generation from photo-induced water conversion with methanol as sacrificial agent. The hydrogen generation rate for the most active sample reached 2296.27 µmol H2 h−1 gcat−1. Combining experimental and computational approaches enabled to define the optimum combination of the synthesis parameters resulting in the highest photocatalytic activity for water splitting for green hydrogen production. The results indicate that the major factor affecting hydrogen production is temperature of the TiO2-Cu-graphene composite synthesis which in turn is inversely correlated to photoactivity.