An appealing photo-powered multi-functional energy system for the poly-generation of hydrogen and electricityJournal of Power Sources


Tiantian Tang, Kan Li, Zhemin Shen, Tonghua Sun, Yalin Wang, Jinping Jia
Physical and Theoretical Chemistry / Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment / Electrical and Electronic Engineering / Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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Lee H. Bowker, o̊Dean of the Graduate School and Research

Max born medal and prize

The Institute of Physics


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Ya hai We constructed a photo-powered poly-genera  The system produced H2 and electricity synch  The system runs entirely on photocatalysis w r, the sy

Photo-powered poly-generation system

Simulated ethanol waste liquid wine as substrate at the same ethanol content level (i.e., 0.1 mol L ), the production of hydrogen is close to that of the pure ethanol solution in the constructed PPS, but no hydrogen is detected in the coninants [1]. As one kind of secondary energy, H2 should be produced from renewable resources and natural energy to realize sustainable development [2,3]. Photocatalytic water splitting (H2O/ H2 þ 1/ 2O2) is one of the ideal methods, since hydrogen can be produced ning is the work of otocatalytic water ll using a semint of reference for f hydrogen, it is gen [10,11]. Under anaerobic conditions, the potential difference between the two electrodes supplied by photocatalysis is too weak to make the production of hydrogen occur spontaneously [12,13]. An external voltage was required to improve the electromotive force driving electrons from the anode to the cathode and reduce protons for the generation of hydrogen [14], which was unavoidable to increase cost. Besides, one of the characteristics of the photocatalytic oxidation is that they are not selective. Any organic substance is a potential target for photodegradation. In this sense, the production * Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: (T. Tang), (K. Li), (Z. Shen), (T. Sun),

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Journal of Pow lse

Journal of Power Sources 294 (2015) 59e66(Y. Wang), (J. Jia).1. Introduction

Currently, hydrogen energy is one of the attractive measures for solving the energy supply security and the greenhouse gas reduction. Hydrogen (H2) can efficiently provide electricity by using fuel cells or motive power by hydrogen-fuel engine. And in the process of combustion, it produces only water without any other contamfromwater by using solar energy. Worth mentio

Fujishima and Honda [4] in 1972, describing ph splitting in a photoelectrochemical (PEC) ce conductor electrode. This work has been the poi many later research efforts [5e9].

For the photoelectrochemical production o necessary to apply conditions of absence of oxyElectrical energy ventional submerged reactor. These results demonstrate that the constructed PPS could effectively utilize light energy and perform good capability in poly-generation of hydrogen and electricity. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Compared with the submerged reacto a r t i c l e i n f o

Article history:

Received 24 March 2015

Received in revised form 4 June 2015

Accepted 9 June 2015

Available online 18 June 2015


Hydrogen 0378-7753/© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.tion system. ronously. ithout external voltage. stem exhibited a satisfactory performance. a b s t r a c t

This paper focuses on a photo-powered poly-generation system (PPS) that is powered by the photocatalytic oxidation of organic substrate to produce hydrogen energy and electrical energy synchronously.

This particular device runs entirely on light energy and chemical energy of substrate without external voltage. The performance measurements and optimization experiments are all investigated by using the low concentration of pure ethanol (EtOH) solution. Compared with the conventional submerged reactor for the photogeneration of hydrogen, the hydrogen and the electric current obtained in the constructed

PPS are all relatively stable in experimental period and the numerical values detected are many times higher than that of the former by using various simulated ethanol waste liquid. When using Chinese rice 1h i g h l i g h t sAn appealing photo-powered multi-fun poly-generation of hydrogen and electri

Tiantian Tang, Kan Li, Zhemin Shen, Tonghua Sun,

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shang journal homepage: www.eonal energy system for the ty lin Wang, Jinping Jia* 200240, PR China er Sources vier .com/locate/ jpowsour werof hydrogen through photocatalytic degradation of organic substance becomes an attractive project on account of its environmental benefit: waste material can be cleaned and solar radiation can be converted into useful forms of energy [10]. Not all organic substances offer the same energy output and thus high concentrations (more than 20 vol%) of ethanol were generally used as research objects [10,15]. However, the ethanol content in practical waste water was usually lower than 5 vol%. And the alcohol waste liquid contained high chroma and many other organic matters, such as various alcohols, sugars and organic acids. According to incomplete statistics, hundreds of millions of tons of alcohol waste water were discharged per year in China alone. How to directly utilize these effluents has caused of concern.

For a conventional photocatalytic reactor, the photoanode is completely immersed in solution, the radiation has to pass through the wall of the reactor and sample solution before it reaches the photoanode surface [16e18], causing significant loss of radiation power and, consequently, low treatment efficiency (i.e. according to our previous study, the decolorization efficiency of 80 mg L1

Rhodamine B in a conventional reactor was only about 14% within 1 h) [19]. To improve the light utilization, Anderson et al. [20,21] reported a corrugated-plate photocatalytic reactor; however, this structure did not avoid the loss of irradiation power by solution absorption.

Based on our previous studies [19,22e24], we constructed a photo-powered poly-generation system (PPS) in this paper to directly utilize these alcohol effluents for the high efficient polygeneration of hydrogen and electric current. This particular device runs entirely on light energy and chemical energy of substrate without external voltage. The performance measurements and optimization experiments were all investigated with a series of pure ethanol concentration (104e1 mol L1). With the simulated ethanol waste liquid as photocatalytic substrate in this PPS, the poly-generation efficiency of electricity and hydrogen were compared with that of the conventional submerged reactor. 2. Experimental details 2.1. Materials and reagents