The welfare of the population and technological progress of our society depend, in large part, of the development of alternative energy production that are environmentally friendly and capable of mitigating the impacts of other human activities. Reform strategies of greenhouse gases for the production of hydrocarbons, also known as artificial photosynthesis, are among these alternatives. However, further studies are needed of catalysts for these reactions for that might make them viable and energetically favorable, for example, activating these reactions by means of solar radiation. Among the materials of interest, the heteroestruturados have been investigated as an interesting option for photoactivated reactions, due to the increase in its photocatalytic efficiency. However, combinations of oxides most suitable for the process of CO2 reduction and reaction conditions are not still established in the literature. In this context, this project proposes a detailed study about the formation of heterostructures copper oxides (CuO and Cu2O) and niobium (Nb2O5) with different ratios of Cu:Nb, which will be obtained by co-precipitation of salts inorganic assisted by hydrothermal crystallization. A study of the structure and morphology of these heterostructures will be conducted to understand their influence on the photocatalytic properties. The synthesized materials are characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform nfrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy. The morphological aspects will be analyzed by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The optical properties are investigated by reflectance spectra in the ultraviolet-visible region (DRS/UV-Vis) and photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). These materials are used in the photoreduction of CO2 in the liquid phase (batch) to obtain compounds such as CO, CH3, CH4, and other (using ultraviolet and visible radiation). Furthermore, the influence of the operating parameters of reaction such as temperature, type of radiation, the initial mass of the photocatalyst and the gas flow will be investigated. Finally, it is expected to perform kinetic studies determined photoreduction of CO2 and determine/quantify the product generated by chromatographic techniques and mass spectrometry.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: