Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


de Lasa, Hugo


Photocatalysis is a promising methodology for hydrogen production. It involves the use of an unlimited source of energy, sunlight, and a semiconductor material to split water with zero carbon emissions.

This Master’s thesis reports high efficiencies in terms of hydrogen production via water splitting using 2.0v/v% ethanol as scavenger, platinum and palladium as noble metals on TiO2 photocatalysts at three metal loadings (1.0, 2.5 and 5.0wt%). Both near UV and visible light were used in the studies developed. These photocatalysts were synthetized using a sol-gel method whose morphological properties were enhanced due to the presence of soft template precursors. Experiments were carried out in the Photo-CREC Water reactor II. This novel unit offers symmetrical irradiation allowing precise irradiation measurements for macroscopic energy balances. In all cases hydrogen production followed a zero-order reaction.

Optimal quantum efficiencies were achieved under near UV light, reaching a significant 30.8%. The doped TiO2 photocatalysts were also studied under visible light obtaining a valuable 1.2% of quantum efficiency. In order to achieve this, the prepared semiconductors were photoreduced and activated with near-UV light