Article Open Access

Plasmon Enhanced Nickel(II) Catalyst for Photocatalytic Lignin Model Cleavage

Photocatalysis: Research and Potential. 2024, 1(1), 10002; https://doi.org/10.35534/prp.2023.10002
Yichao Jin 1, †,    Xiayan Wu 1, †,    Sarina Sarina 1,    Yingping Huang 2, *    Eric R Waclawik 1,    Huai Yong Zhu 1, *   
1
School of Chemistry and Physics, Faculty of Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
2
Engineering Research Center of Eco-environment in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China
The authors made an equal contribution to the work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 22 Nov 2022    Accepted: 17 Jan 2023    Published: 07 Feb 2023   

Abstract

Photocatalytic-induced cleaving of the ether C–O bond in model lignin compounds was studied with a closely-coupled compo-site material consisting of Ni(OH)2 and gold nanoparticles (NPs) on a zirconia support (Au/ZrO2–Ni(OH)2). The three important ether bond types consisting of α-O-4, β-O-4, and 4-O-5 linkages can all be cleaved using this catalyst at reaction temperatures 40, 85 and 95 °C when under low-flux visible light irradiation. The Au NPs action as a light-harvesting antenna provided light-generated hot electrons that reduced Ni2+ to Ni0. The Ni0 was the active catalytic site where reductive cleavage of ether C–O bonds occurred while it was oxidized to Ni2+ to complete the catalysis cycle. The plasmonic antenna system with supported Ni(OH)2 exhibited better ability for the catalytic reductive ether cleavages under visible light irradiation compared to photocata-lysts of Au NPs and Ni2+ ions immobilized on alumina fibers.

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