Stringent measures on the use of fossil fuels have led to the rapid development of alternative renewable energy sources. In particular, hydrogen has been identified as promising renewable energy. However, conventional hydrogen production methods suffer from high energy consumption and high dioxide emissions.
Biomass serves as an import sustainable proton energy carrier with the advantages of large reserves, low-cost, and wide sources such as the rice-straw, wheat-straw in agricultural production, the paper cups or plates made from wood fiber in peoples’ life, and sludge discharged from pulp and paper industry. However, these kinds of biomass are often discarded as the waste and lack of adequate utilization. For sustainable hydrogen generation, alternative strategies such as photo-reforming of biomass into hydrogen by using the solar energy have been developed.
In an attempt to address this challenge, the research team of Photoelectric Functional Materials and Devices at Guangdong Institute of Analysis (China National Analytical Center Guangzhou), Guangdong Academy of Sciences fabricated an edge functionalized polymeric carbon nitride (PCN) photocatalyst via in-situ C-N coupling method. Combining a set of systematic experimental analyses and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, the researchers identified that the optimized PCN possessed broader spectrum absorption (up to 600 nm) compared to the recently reported photo-reforming biomass photocatalyst, as shown in the figure. Moreover, the modified PCN exhibits strong oxidation ability, high absorption ability of biomass, and consequently improved photo-reforming activity.
This work entitled “Edge functionalization of terminal amino group in carbon nitride by in-situ C-N coupling for photoreforming of biomass into H2” was published in the Chemical Engineering Journal (Q1, iF=10.652). Guangdong Institute of Analysis (China National Analytical Center Guangzhou) is the only communication agent. This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (61904167), and GDAS’ Project of Science and Technology Development (2020GDASYL-20200102006).
Recently, this work was highlighted as the featured science articles by Advances in Engineering (AIE), Advances In Engineering is a leading media for trustworthy and timely Engineering research news. Advances in Engineering ensures that the results of excellent scientific research are rapidly disseminated throughout the world, the selected feature paper is less than 1‰ of the total number of papers published in related fields.
Based on the analysis platform of Guangdong Institute of Analysis (China National Analytical Center Guangzhou), the research team has successfully established a platform for photocatalysis/electrocatalytic analysis and testing, allowing for online and in-situ measurements of the photo/electrocatalysis reaction. The research team has provided testing services for universities and research institutes including Newcastle University, South China University of Technology, South China normal University.