Vishnu V. Pillai

Abstracts

2 3D Nanostructured Assembly of 2D Transition Metal Chalcogenide/Graphene as High Performance Electrocatalysts

Authors: Vishnu V. Pillai, Sunil P. Lonkar, Saeed Alhassan

Abstract:

Design and development of highly efficient, inexpensive, and long-term stable earth-abundant electrocatalysts hold tremendous promise for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in water electrolysis. The 2D transition metal dichalcogenides, especially molybdenum disulfide attracted a great deal of interests due to its high electrocatalytic activity. However, due to its poor electrical conductivity and limited exposed active sites, the performance of these catalysts is limited. In this context, a facile and scalable synthesis method for fabrication nanostructured electrocatalysts composed 3D graphene porous aerogels supported with MoS₂ and WS₂ is highly desired. Here we developed a highly active and stable electrocatalyst catalyst for the HER by growing it into a 3D porous architecture on conducting graphene. The resulting nanohybrids were thoroughly investigated by means of several characterization techniques to understand structure and properties. Moreover, the HER performance of these 3D catalysts is expected to greatly improve in compared to other, well-known catalysts which mainly benefits from the improved electrical conductivity of the by graphene and porous structures of the support. This technologically scalable process can afford efficient electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reactions (HER) and hydrodesulfurization catalysts for sulfur-rich petroleum fuels. Owing to the lower cost and higher performance, the resulting materials holds high potential for various energy and catalysis applications. In typical hydrothermal method, sonicated GO aqueous dispersion (5 mg mL⁻¹) was mixed with ammonium tetrathiomolybdate (ATTM) and tungsten molybdate was treated in a sealed Teflon autoclave at 200 ◦C for 4h. After cooling, a black solid macroporous hydrogel was recovered washed under running de-ionized water to remove any by products and metal ions. The obtained hydrogels were then freeze-dried for 24 h and was further subjected to thermal annealing driven crystallization at 600 ◦C for 2h to ensure complete thermal reduction of RGO into graphene and formation of highly crystalline MoS₂ and WoS₂ phases. The resulting 3D nanohybrids were characterized to understand the structure and properties. The SEM-EDS clearly reveals the formation of highly porous material with a uniform distribution of MoS₂ and WS₂ phases. In conclusion, a novice strategy for fabrication of 3D nanostructured MoS₂-WS₂/graphene is presented. The characterizations revealed that the in-situ formed promoters uniformly dispersed on to few layered MoS₂¬-WS₂ nanosheets that are well-supported on graphene surface. The resulting 3D hybrids hold high promise as potential electrocatalyst and hydrodesulfurization catalyst.

Keywords: Graphene, Electrocatalysts, transition metal chalcogenide

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1 Facile Synthesis of Sulfur Doped TiO2 Nanoparticles with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity

Authors: Saeed M. Alhassan, Vishnu V. Pillai, Sunil P. Lonkar, Akhil M. Abraham

Abstract:

An effectual technology for wastewater treatment is a great demand now in order to encounter the water pollution caused by organic pollutants. Photocatalytic oxidation technology is widely used in removal of such unsafe contaminants. Among the semi-conducting metal oxides, robust and thermally stable TiO2 has emerged as a fascinating material for photocatalysis. Enhanced catalytic activity was observed for nanostructured TiO2 due to its higher surface, chemical stability and higher oxidation ability. However, higher charge carrier recombination and wide band gap of TiO2 limits its use as a photocatalyst in the UV region. It is desirable to develop a photocatalyst that can efficiently absorb the visible light, which occupies the main part of the solar spectrum. Hence, in order to extend its photocatalytic efficiency under visible light, TiO2 nanoparticles are often doped with metallic or non-metallic elements. Non-metallic doping of TiO2 has attracted much attention due to the low thermal stability and enhanced recombination of charge carriers endowed by metallic doping of TiO2. Amongst, sulfur doped TiO2 is most widely used photocatalyst in environmental purification. However, the most of S-TiO2 synthesis technique uses toxic chemicals and complex procedures. Hence, a facile, scalable and environmentally benign preparation process for S-TiO2 is highly desirable. In present work, we have demonstrated new and facile solid-state reaction method for S-TiO2 synthesis that uses abundant elemental sulfur as S source and moderate temperatures. The resulting nano-sized S-TiO2 has been successfully employed as visible light photocatalyst in methylene blue dye removal from aqueous media.

Keywords: Nanomaterials, Photocatalysts, methylene blue, ecofriendly

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