Metal-Free Photocatalytic Hydrogenation Using Covalent Triazine Polymers
Yongpan Hu,† Wei Huang,† Hongshuai Wang, Qing He, Yuan Zhou, Ping Yang, Youyong Li and Yanguang Li*
Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.
Photocatalytic hydrogenation of biomass-derived organic molecules transforms solar energy to high-energy-density chemical bonds, and may enable the production of industrial building-block chemicals with great economical values. Despite its great potential, photocatalytic hydrogenation remains poorly explored up to now. Existing researches are mostly based on broad bandgap inorganic semiconductors and require the assistance of noble metal based cocatalysts. Herein, we report the preparation of thiophene-containing covalent triazine polymer as the photocatalyst with unique donor-acceptor units, and for the first time demonstrate the metal-free photocatalytic hydrogenation of unsaturated organic molecules exemplified by maleic acid and furfural. Under the visible light illumination, our polymeric photocatalyst enables the transformation of maleic acid to succinic acid with an incredible production rate of ~2 mmol g-1h-1, and furfural to furfuryl alcohol with a production rate of~0.5 mmol g-1h-1. Great catalyst stability and recyclability are also measured. Given the structural diversity of polymeric photocatalysts and their readily tunable optical and electronic properties, metal-free photocatalytic hydrogenation represents a highly promising approach for solar energy conversion.