Solar Hydrogen Production Using Locally Synthesized Composite Nanoparticles
The direct photocatalytic decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen under visible light irradiation represents a clean, low cost and environment friendly route for hydrogen production. The research activity in the field of the heterogeneous photocatalysis is focused on the development of novel alternative materials to traditional commercially available photocatalyst, such as TiO2, which exhibit low photocatalytic activity due to their wide energy bandgap (3.2eV). BiFeO3 is an interesting multiferroic material for energy-related application especially for hydrogen generation through photocatalytic water splitting due to its small band-gap (~ 2.2 eV). It is reported that BiFeO3 generates three times more hydrogen than commercial titania catalyst under similar experimental conditions. Despite its great potential, the low photocatalytic activity of BiFeO3 hinders its commercialization. Therefore, the major objectives of this research project is to synthesize undoped and rare earth/alkaline earth substituted BiFeO3 multiferroic nanoparticles with enhanced photocatalytic activity. The synthesized nanoparticles will be used for hydrogen production via water splitting under UV-visible light irradiation.