School of Chemistry and Physics, Faculty of Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
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
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
). 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+
. 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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