Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) have reached a key step in the large scale deployment of cost effective, integrated photoelectrochemical (PEC) fuel generators by developing a solar hydrogen generator that mitigates the formation of large concentration gradients with the introduction of controlled convection streams between oxidation and reduction sites. This allows for continuous, robust and stable system operation and enables the use of a large number of PEC components that, similar to the natural photosynthesis system, are only stable under near-neutral pH conditions. The Berkeley Lab technology demonstrates purified solar-hydrogen generation from near neutral pH electrolytes that yield continuous, nearly pure H2 streams with solar-fuel efficiencies above 6.2%.
The development of practical solar-driven electrochemical fuel generators requires the integration of light absorbing and electrochemical components into an architecture that must also provide easy separation of the product fuels. Unfortunately, many of these components are not stable under the extreme pH conditions necessary to facilitate ionic transport between redox reaction sites. The Berkeley Lab / JCAP technology overcomes these challenges.
Click here or at the link below for the researchers' publication on this technology.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Modestino, M. A., Walczak, K. A., Berger, A., Evans, C. M., Haussener, S., Koval, C., Newman, J. S., Ager, J. W., Segalman, R. A. "Robust production of purified H2 in a stable, self-regulating and continuously operating solar fuel generator," The Royal Society of Chemistry, Nov. 28, 2013.
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2013-028