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Synthesis and characterization of nanoparticle-graphene nanocomposites aiming the photoreduction of CO2 to hydrocarbons using visible light

Grant number: 12/12665-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2012
Effective date (End): June 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Ana Flávia Nogueira
Grantee:Bruna Mancuzo de Almeida
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The accumulation of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has risen major global concerns due to the consequences of the green house effect. An alternative to minimize this effect is to capture these gases from the atmosphere and convert them into other economically attractive substances. In this context, capture and direct photoconversion of CO2 to hydrocarbons using sunlight as an energy source has attracted a increasing interest in both, industry and the scientific community. Thus, this Undergraduate Research has as main objectives the preparation, characterization and application of three nanocomposites (TiO2/RR-GO, Cu2O/RR-GO, TiO2/Cu2O/RR-GO) in the photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbons (RR-GO is photochemically reduced graphene oxide). The synthesis and characterization of these composites will be performed separately. The materials will be characterized by Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) measurements, X-ray diffraction (XRD), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy within the visible range, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission of electron microscopy (HR-TEM). The composites will also be characterized by cyclic voltammetry experiments and chronoamperometry. The analysis of the photocatalytic efficiency of the composites will be tested in a photochemical reactor, which was constructed with quartz glass and a compartment for accommodating the nanocomposite film and reaction gases (water vapor and CO2). Gaseous products of this reaction will be analyzed by gas chromatography.