Photothermal-enabled single-atom catalysts for high-efficiency hydrogen peroxide photosynthesis from natural seawater

Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 29;14(1):2493. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38211-3.


Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a powerful industrial oxidant and potential carbon-neutral liquid energy carrier. Sunlight-driven synthesis of H2O2 from the most earth-abundant O2 and seawater is highly desirable. However, the solar-to-chemical efficiency of H2O2 synthesis in particulate photocatalysis systems is low. Here, we present a cooperative sunlight-driven photothermal-photocatalytic system based on cobalt single-atom supported on sulfur doped graphitic carbon nitride/reduced graphene oxide heterostructure (Co-CN@G) to boost H2O2 photosynthesis from natural seawater. By virtue of the photothermal effect and synergy between Co single atoms and the heterostructure, Co-CN@G enables a solar-to-chemical efficiency of more than 0.7% under simulated sunlight irradiation. Theoretical calculations verify that the single atoms combined with heterostructure significantly promote the charge separation, facilitate O2 absorption and reduce the energy barriers for O2 reduction and water oxidation, eventually boosting H2O2 photoproduction. The single-atom photothermal-photocatalytic materials may provide possibility of large-scale H2O2 production from inexhaustible seawater in a sustainable way.

PMID:37120639 | PMC:PMC10148870 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-38211-3


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