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Development & Optimization of Materials and Processes for a Cost Effective Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production System

Description: The overall project objective was to apply high throughput experimentation and combinatorial methods together with novel syntheses to discover and optimize efficient, practical, and economically sustainable materials for photoelectrochemical production of bulk hydrogen from water. Automated electrochemical synthesis and photoelectrochemical screening systems were designed and constructed and used to study a variety of new photoelectrocatalytic materials. We evaluated photocatalytic performance in the dark and under illumination with or without applied bias in a high-throughput manner and did detailed evaluation on many materials. Significant attention was given to -Fe2O3 based semiconductor materials and thin films with different dopants were synthesized by co-electrodeposition techniques. Approximately 30 dopants including Al, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Cr, Mo, Ti, Pt, etc. were investigated. Hematite thin films doped with Al, Ti, Pt, Cr, and Mo exhibited significant improvements in efficiency for photoelectrochemical water splitting compared with undoped hematite. In several cases we collaborated with theorists who used density functional theory to help explain performance trends and suggest new materials. The best materials were investigated in detail by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), ultraviolet-visual spectroscopy (UV-Vis), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The photoelectrocatalytic performance of the thin films was evaluated and their incident photon
Date: January 17, 2011
Creator: McFarland, Eric W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production Using New Combinatorial Chemistry Derived Materials

Description: Solar photoelectrochemical water-splitting has long been viewed as one of the “holy grails” of chemistry because of its potential impact as a clean, renewable method of fuel production. Several known photocatalytic semiconductors can be used; however, the fundamental mechanisms of the process remain poorly understood and no known material has the required properties for cost effective hydrogen production. In order to investigate morphological and compositional variations in metal oxides as they relate to opto-electrochemical properties, we have employed a combinatorial methodology using automated, high-throughput, electrochemical synthesis and screening together with conventional solid-state methods. This report discusses a number of novel, high-throughput instruments developed during this project for the expeditious discovery of improved materials for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. Also described within this report are results from a variety of materials (primarily tungsten oxide, zinc oxide, molybdenum oxide, copper oxide and titanium dioxide) whose properties were modified and improved by either layering, inter-mixing, or doping with one or more transition metals. Furthermore, the morphologies of certain materials were also modified through the use of structure directing agents (SDA) during synthesis to create mesostructures (features 2-50 nm) that increased surface area and improved rates of hydrogen production.
Date: October 25, 2004
Creator: Jaramillo, Thomas F.; Baeck, Sung-Hyeon; Kleiman-Shwarsctein, Alan; Stucky, Galen D. (PI) & McFarland, Eric W. (PI)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High Efficiency Generation of Hydrogen Fuels Using Solar Thermochemical Splitting of Water

Description: The objective of this work is to identify economically feasible concepts for the production of hydrogen from water using solar energy. The ultimate project objective was to select one or more competitive concepts for pilot-scale demonstration using concentrated solar energy. Results of pilot scale plant performance would be used as foundation for seeking public and private resources for full-scale plant development and testing. Economical success in this venture would afford the public with a renewable and limitless source of energy carrier for use in electric power load-leveling and as a carbon-free transportation fuel. The Solar Hydrogen Generation Research (SHGR) project embraces technologies relevant to hydrogen research under the Office of Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technology (HFCIT) as well as concentrated solar power under the Office of Solar Energy Technologies (SET). Although the photoelectrochemical work is aligned with HFCIT, some of the technologies in this effort are also consistent with the skills and technologies found in concentrated solar power and photovoltaic technology under the Office of Solar Energy Technologies (SET). Hydrogen production by thermo-chemical water-splitting is a chemical process that accomplishes the decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen using only heat or a combination of heat and electrolysis instead of pure electrolysis and meets the goals for hydrogen production using only water and renewable solar energy as feed-stocks. Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production also meets these goals by implementing photo-electrolysis at the surface of a semiconductor in contact with an electrolyte with bias provided by a photovoltaic source. Here, water splitting is a photo-electrolytic process in which hydrogen is produced using only solar photons and water as feed-stocks. The thermochemical hydrogen task engendered formal collaborations among two universities, three national laboratories and two private sector entities. The photoelectrochemical hydrogen task included formal collaborations with three universities and one national laboratory. The ...
Date: September 29, 2011
Creator: Heske, Clemens; Moujaes, Samir; Weimer, Alan; Wong, Bunsen; Siegal, Nathan; McFarland, Eric et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department