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Efficient Visible Light-Driven Splitting of Alcohols into Hydrogen and Corresponding Carbonyl Compounds over a Ni-Modified CdS Photocatalyst

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posted on 2016-07-30, 00:00 authored by Zhigang Chai, Ting-Ting Zeng, Qi Li, Liang-Qiu Lu, Wen-Jing Xiao, Dongsheng Xu
Splitting of alcohols into hydrogen and corresponding carbonyl compounds has potential applications in hydrogen production and chemical industry. Herein, we report that a heterogeneous photocatalyst (Ni-modified CdS nanoparticles) could efficiently split alcohols into hydrogen and corresponding aldehydes or ketones in a stoichiometric manner under visible light irradiation. Optimized apparent quantum yields of 38%, 46%, and 48% were obtained at 447 nm for dehydrogenation of methanol, ethanol, and 2-propanol, respectively. In the case of dehydrogenation of 2-propanol, a turnover number of greater than 44 000 was achieved. To our knowledge, these are unprecedented values for photocatalytic splitting of liquid alcohols under visible light to date. Besides, the current catalyst system functions well with other aliphatic and aromatic alcohols, affording the corresponding carbonyl compounds with good to excellent conversion and outstanding selectivity. Moreover, mechanistic investigations suggest that an interface between Ni nanocrystal and CdS plays a key role in the reaction mechanism of the photocatalytic splitting of alcohol.

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