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An Insight into Carbon Nanomaterial-Based Photocatalytic Water Splitting for Green Hydrogen Production


At present, the energy shortage and environmental pollution are the burning global issues. For centuries, fossil fuels have been used to meet worldwide energy demand. However, thousands of tons of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned, contributing to global warming. Therefore, green energy must replace fossil fuels, and hydrogen is a prime choice. Photocatalytic water splitting (PWS) under solar irradiation could address energy and environmental problems. In the past decade, solar photocatalysts have been used to manufacture sustainable fuels. Scientists are working to synthesize a reliable, affordable, and light-efficient photocatalyst. Developing efficient photocatalysts for water redox reactions in suspension is a key to solar energy conversion. Semiconductor nanoparticles can be used as photocatalysts to accelerate redox reactions to generate chemical fuel or electricity. Carbon materials are substantial photocatalysts for total WS under solar irradiation due to their high activity, high stability, low cost, easy production, and structural diversity. Carbon-based materials such as graphene, graphene oxide, graphitic carbon nitride, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and carbon quantum dots can be used as semiconductors, photosensitizers, cocatalysts, and support materials. This review comprehensively explains how carbon-based composite materials function as photocatalytic semiconductors for hydrogen production, the water-splitting mechanism, and the chemistry of redox reactions. Also, how heteroatom doping, defects and surface functionalities, etc., can influence the efficiency of carbon photocatalysts in H2 production. The challenges faced in the PWS process and future prospects are briefly discussed.

Funding source: The authors extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University for funding this work through Research Group No. RG 21-09-77.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Pakistan ; Saudi Arabia

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