Study of the efficiency of UV and visible-light photocatalytic oxidation of methanol on mesoporous RuO2-TiO2 nanocomposites

Chemphyschem. 2011 Apr 4;12(5):982-91. doi: 10.1002/cphc.201000936. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


Mesoporous RuO(2)-TiO(2) nanocomposites at different RuO(2) concentrations (0-10 wt%) are prepared through a simple one-step sol-gel reaction of tetrabutyl orthotitanate with ruthenium(III) acetylacetonate in the presence of an F127 triblock copolymer as structure-directing agent. The thus-formed RuO(2)-TiO(2) network gels are calcined at 450 °C for 4 h leading to mesoporous RuO(2)-TiO(2) nanocomposites. The photocatalytic CH(3)OH oxidation to HCHO is chosen as the test reaction to examine the photocatalytic activity of the mesoporous RuO(2)-TiO(2) nanocomposites under UV and visible light. The photooxidation of CH(3)OH is substantially affected by the loading amount and the degree of dispersion of RuO(2) particles onto the TiO(2), which indicates the exclusive effect of the RuO(2) nanoparticles on this photocatalytic reaction under visible light. The measured photonic efficiency ξ=0.53% of 0.5 wt% RuO(2)-TiO(2) nanocomposite for CH(3)OH oxidation is maximal and the further increase of RuO(2) loading up to 10 wt% gradually decreases this value. The cause of the visible-light photocatalytic behavior is the incorporation of small amounts of Ru(4+) into the anatase lattice. On the other hand, under UV light, undoped TiO(2) shows a very good photonic efficiency, which is more than three times that for commercial photocatalyst, P-25 (Evonik-Degussa); however, addition of RuO(2) suppresses the photonic efficiency of TiO(2). The proposed reaction mechanism based on the observed behavior of RuO(2)-TiO(2) photocatalysts under UV and visible light is explored.