Nanotech 2010

Size Resolved Kinetics for H2 Generation from Zn Nanocrystals

X. Ma, M.R. Zachariah
University of Maryland, US

Keywords: solar, Thermochemical, Hydrolysis

Abstract:

The substrate-free hydrolysis of Zn nanocrystals was investigated as the second step in a ZnO/Zn solar water-splitting thermochemical cycle. In this work, we combined two different ion-mobility schemes in series to study the hydrolysis kinetics of size-selected zinc nanocrystals (NCs). The first mobility characterization size selects particles with a differential mobility analyzer (DMA). The second mobility characterization employs an aerosol particle mass analyzer (APM) and measures changes in mass resulting from a controlled hydrolysis of the Zn NCs. A low temperature reaction mechanism is proposed to explain the mass change behavior of Zn NCs hydrolysis at 100oC-250oC. An Arrhenius law was used to extract the reaction kinetic parameters. The hydrolysis activation energy and the order of the reaction with respect to water mole fraction were found to be and, respectively. Complete conversion of 70nm Zn NCs was achieved at 175oC with a residence time of about 10 seconds and water vapor mole fraction of 19%.
 
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