Effect of ball-milling pretreatment of cellulose on its photoreforming for H2 production

Lan Lan, Huanhao Chen, Daniel Lee, Shaojun Xu, Nathan Skillen, Aleksander Tedstone, Peter Robertson, Arthur Garforth, Helen Daly, Christopher Hardacre, Xiaolei Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoreforming of cellulose is a promising route for sustainable H2 production. Herein, ball-milling (BM, with varied treatment times of 0.5–24 h) was employed to pretreat microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) to improve its activity in photoreforming over a Pt/TiO2 catalyst. It was found that BM treatment reduced the particle size, crystallinity index (CrI), and degree of polymerization (DP) of MCC significantly, as well as produced amorphous celluloses (with >2 h treatment time). Amorphous cellulose water-induced recrystallization to cellulose II (as evidenced by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and solid-state NMR analysis) was observed in aqueous media. Findings of the work showed that the BM treatment was a simple and effective pretreatment strategy to improve photoreforming of MCC for H2 production, mainly due to the decreased particle size and, specifically in aqueous media, the formation of the cellulose II phase from the recrystallization of amorphous cellulose, the extent of which correlates well with the activity in photoreforming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4862–4871
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 04 Apr 2022


  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry


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