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Efficient Photocatalytic Production of Hydrogen Peroxide from Water and Dioxygen with Bismuth Vanadate and a Cobalt(II) Chlorin Complex

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journal contribution
posted on 10.10.2016, 00:00 by Kentaro Mase, Masaki Yoneda, Yusuke Yamada, Shunichi Fukuzumi
Efficient photocatalytic production of H2O2 as a promising solar fuel from H2O and O2 in water has been achieved by the combination of bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) as a durable photocatalyst with a narrow band gap for the water oxidation and a cobalt chlorin complex (CoII(Ch)) as a selective electrocatalyst for the two-electron reduction of O2 in a two-compartment photoelectrochemical cell separated by a Nafion membrane under simulated solar light illumination. The concentration of H2O2 produced in the reaction solution of the cathode cell reached as high as 61 mM, when surface-modified BiVO4 with iron­(III) oxide­(hydroxide) (FeO­(OH)) and CoII(Ch) were employed as a water oxidation catalyst in the photoanode and as an O2 reduction catalyst in the cathode, respectively. The highest solar energy conversion efficiency was determined to be 6.6% under simulated solar illumination adjusted to 0.05 sun after 1 h of photocatalytic reaction (0.89% under 1 sun illumination). The conversion of chemical energy into electric energy was conducted using H2O2 produced by photocatalytic reaction by an H2O2 fuel cell, where open-circuit potential and maximum power density were recorded as 0.79 V and 2.0 mW cm–2, respectively.