Production of Hydrogen: Photocatalytic Decomposition of Dimethyl Ether over Metal-Promoted TiO2 Catalysts


The photo-induced vapor-phase decomposition of dimethyl ether was investigated on Pt metals deposited on pure and N-doped TiO2. Infrared spectroscopic measurements revealed that adsorption of dimethyl ether on TiO2 samples underwent partial dissociation to methoxy species. Illumination of the (CH3)2O-TiO2 and (CH3)2O-M/TiO2 systems led to the conversion of methoxy into adsorbed formate. In the case of metal-promoted TiO2 catalysts, CO bonded to the metals was also detected. Pure titania exhibited a very little photoactivity. Deposition of Pt metals on TiO2 markedly enhanced the extent of photocatalytic decomposition of dimethyl ether to give H2 and CO2 as the major products. A small amount of CO and methyl formate was also identified in the products. The most active metal was the Rh followed by Pd, Ir, Pt and Ru. When the bandgap of TiO2 was lowered by N-doping, the photocatalytic activity of metal/TiO2 catalysts appreciably increased. The effect of metals was explained by a better separation of charge carriers induced by illumination and by enhanced electronic interaction between metal nanoparticles and TiO2.

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Halasi, G. , Schubert, G. and Solymosi, F. (2014) Production of Hydrogen: Photocatalytic Decomposition of Dimethyl Ether over Metal-Promoted TiO2 Catalysts. American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 5, 455-466. doi: 10.4236/ajac.2014.58054.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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