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Improving the Photocatalytic Hydrogen Yield of Bi<sub>2</sub>Ti<sub>2</sub>O<sub>7</sub> via Fe Substitution
AdvisorDarling, Timothy W.
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Bi<sub>2</sub>Ti<sub>2</sub>O<sub>7</sub> (BTO) has been shown to be an effective material for photocatalytic hydrogen production, but is further improved by the low-level inclusion of Fe ions. This improvement is likely due to the introduction of interband electronic states, allowing for a multi-photon process in which electrons can be promoted to the conduction band by multiple photons of lower energy than is necessary in the single photon process in pure BTO.The suspected mechanisms for the band structure alterations and hydrogen generation are presented. A method was developed for the synthesis of BTO nanoparticles, and allowing for the inclusion of Fe ions, and the material was characterized to confirm its structure, composition and physical properties. Hydrogen generation experiments were conducted in a slurry reactor with water and methanol, illuminated by a Hg-vapor lamp; a model was used to confirm validity of the measurements; and ultimately, BTO with 1% Fe inclusion is shown superior in hydrogen generation over BTO and a standard benchmark, commercially produced TiO<sub>2</sub>.A reduced version of much of the information contained in this work also appears in Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, vol. 144<super>1</super>. As many key items appear in both papers such content is not individually cited.