Coproduction of hydrogen and lactic acid from glucose photocatalysis on band-engineered Zn1-xCdxS homojunction

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  • Photocatalytic transformation of biomass into value-added chemicals coupled with co-production of hydrogen provides an explicit route to trap sunlight into the chemical bonds. Here, we demonstrate a rational design of Zn1-xCdxS solid solution homojunction photocatalyst with a pseudo-periodic cubic zinc blende (ZB) and hexagonal wurtzite (WZ) structure for efficient glucose conversion to simultaneously produce hydrogen and lactic acid. The optimized Zn0.6Cd0.4S catalyst consists of a twinning superlattice, has a tuned bandgap, and displays excellent efficiency with respect to hydrogen generation (690 ± 27.6 μmol·h−1·gcat.−1), glucose conversion (~90%), and lactic acid selectivity (~87%) without any co-catalyst under visible light irradiation. The periodic WZ/ZB phase in twinning superlattice facilitates better charge separation, while superoxide radical (⋅O2-) and photogenerated holes drive the glucose transformation and water oxidation reactions, respectively. This work demonstrates that rational photocatalyst design could realize an efficient and concomitant production of hydrogen and value-added chemicals from glucose photocatalysis.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International