The main objective of this study was to prepare effective photocatalysts for splitting of seawater for solar fuel - H 2 and degradation of seawater organic pollutants such as dyes. To enhance photocatalytic activities, CuO is supported on nano TiO 2 (CuO/nano TiO 2). By X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, CuO clusters are found on nano TiO 2. The 2.5% CuO/nano TiO 2 has greater activities in photocatalytic splitting of water and seawater than nano TiO 2 by 9.9 and 7.8 times, respectively. Interestingly, the 2.5% CuO/nano TiO 2 is also very active for photocatalytic splitting of water and seawater contaminated with dyes such as methylene blue (MB) (10 ppm). Under a 5-h irradiation of the UV-Vis light, about 99% of MB is degraded while 3.1 μmol/h g cat of H 2 are generated from seawater in the photocatalysis process. Highlights: CuO/nano TiO 2 can enhance photocatalytic splitting of seawater for H 2 fuel. Nano TiO 2 promoted with CuO clusters has enhanced photoactivity. Photocatalytic degradation of dyes in seawater with desired H 2 yields.
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