Electrospun Cu-doped titania nanofibers for photocatalytic hydrolysis of ammonia borane
•CuO nanoprticles were protected by titania nanofibers using electrospinning.•TiO2 NFs reveal good catalytic activity in hydrogen release from ammonia borane.•The introduced catalyst shows synergistic effect toward hydrogen release.•The introduced CuO/TiO2 catalyst can be reused with the same activity.•The study introduces photohydrolysis of ammonia borane as novel strategy.
Among reported hydrogen storage materials, ammonia borane is a promising candidate to be utilized in many industrial applications. The high chemical resistance of the ceramic catalysts makes them one of the most stable classes of catalytic materials. In this study, CuO nanoparticles (NPs) -doped TiO2 nanofibers (NFs) are introduced as a highly effective and reusable catalyst for ammonia borane complex hydrolysis. The incorporation of CuO NPs inside the TiO2 NFs provided distinct advantages for the introduced catalyst; the aggregation problem of the CuO NPs was overcome and a synergistic effect was created as the synthesized CuO NPs-doped TiO2 revealed higher activity compared to the individual components. Typically, after 10 min, the obtained hydrogen equivalent was 2.7, 0.9 and 0.95 when CuO NPs-doped TiO2 nanofibers, CuO NPs and pristine TiO2 nanofibers were used as the catalyst, respectively. The catalytic activity of the introduced nanofibers did not change after being used for three successive cycles. Moreover, the catalytic performance was strongly modified when the hydrolysis process was performed under sunlight irradiation because of the photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 and CuO. The introduced nanofibers were prepared by the simple, effective, low cost and high yielding technique of electrospinning. The present study introduces TiO2 nanofibers as a promising catalyst for the ammonia borane complex, as well as an interesting support used for functional materials.
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Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volume 467, 2 October 2013, Pages 98–106