Efficient electricity production and simultaneously wastewater treatment via a high-performance photocatalytic fuel cell

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China.
Water Research (Impact Factor: 5.53). 07/2011; 45(13):3991-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.05.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A great quantity of wastewater were discharged into water body, causing serious environmental pollution. Meanwhile, the organic compounds in wastewater are important sources of energy. In this work, a high-performance short TiO(2) nanotube array (STNA) electrode was applied as photoanode material in a novel photocatalytic fuel cell (PFC) system for electricity production and simultaneously wastewater treatment. The results of current work demonstrate that various model compounds as well as real wastewater samples can be used as substrates for the PFC system. As a representative of model compounds, the acetic acid solution produces the highest cell performance with short-circuit current density 1.42 mA cm(-2), open-circuit voltage 1.48 V and maximum power density output 0.67 mW cm(-2). The STNA photoanode reveals obviously enhanced cell performance compared with TiO(2) nanoparticulate film electrode or other long nanotubes electrode. Moreover, the photoanode material, electrolyte concentration, pH of the initial solution, and cathode material were found to be important factors influencing the system performance of PFC. Therefore, the proposed fuel cell system provides a novel way of energy conversion and effective disposal mode of organics and serves well as a promising technology for wastewater treatment.

Download full-text


Available from: Yanbiao Liu, Sep 19, 2014
114 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The adsorption and photoelectrocatalytic characteristics of four different kinds of organic compounds (d-fructose, glutamic acid, fumaric acid, and nicotinic acid) on TiO2 nanotube arrays (TNAs) were investigated using a thin-layer cell, wherein the compounds were rapidly and exhaustively oxidized. The photogenerated current–time (I ph–t) profiles were found to be related to the adsorption, the degradation rate, and the reaction mechanism. The relationship between the initial organic compounds concentrations and photocurrent peaks (I 0ph) fit the Langmuir type adsorption model well, thereby confirming that the adsorption of organic compounds on TNAs was via monolayer adsorption. The adsorption equilibrium constant was obtained from the Langmuir equation. The results indicate that the adsorption performance of the organic compounds on TNAs were in the following order: nicotinic acid < d-fructose < glutamic acid < fumaric acid. The degradation of organic compounds on TNAs was classified as either easy or difficult based on the time of complete mineralization (t end) of the organic samples under an equal holes consumption; the degree of degradation were as follows: fumaric acid < d-fructose < glutamic acid < nicotinic acid. The photoelectrocatalytic characteristics of the organic compounds on TNAs were also discussed by analyzing the changes in the I ph –t profiles.
    Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry 12/2012; 16(12). DOI:10.1007/s10008-012-1837-x · 2.45 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Well-aligned WO3 nanoflake arrays (WNA) as effective photoanode was vertically fabricated on tungsten sheet through a facile hydrothermal process. Before reaction, the tungsten sheet was pre-annealed to produce a thin-layer WO3 on surface to serve as seeded sites for crystal growth in hydrothermal reaction, which also provided a strong connection between the growing WO3 and substrate. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was used as the structure-directing agent to confine the crystal growth. This preparation route obviously facilitated the charge transfer and reduced the recombination of photoexcited electron/hole. The saturated photocurrent density and IPCE value were found to be 2.35 mA cm− 2 at 1.5 V and 56% which were much higher than that prepared in the absence of pre-annealed WO3 layer and PEG.
    Electrochemistry Communications 07/2012; 20(1):153–156. DOI:10.1016/j.elecom.2012.03.043 · 4.85 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The simultaneous production of hydrogen and degradation of organic pollutants (4-chlorophenol, urea, and urine) was successfully achieved using titania photocatalysts which were modified with both anion adsorbates (fluoride or phosphate) and (noble) metals (Pt, Pd, Au, Ag, Cu, or Ni). The dual-function photocatalysis worked only when both components coexisted on the surface of TiO 2 , whereas TiO 2 modified with a single surface component (F–TiO 2 , P–TiO 2 , or Pt/TiO 2) was inactive under the same experimental condition. Two main surface-modified photocatalysts, F–TiO 2 /Pt (surface fluorinated and platinized) and P–TiO 2 /Pt (surface phosphated and platinized), were similarly active for dual-function photocatalysis in the anoxic suspension under UV irradiation. With these catalysts employed, the degradation of 4-chlorophenol (or urea) was accompanied by the concurrent production of H 2 . The synergistic effect greatly depended on the kind of metal and pH. The activity of F–TiO 2 /Pt gradually decreased with increasing pH, which makes the application of F–TiO 2 /Pt limited to the acidic pH region. On the other hand, P–TiO 2 /Pt exhibited a consistent activity over a wide range of pH, which makes P–TiO 2 /Pt a more practical dual-function photocatalyst. The synergistic effect of anions and metal deposits on the surface of TiO 2 enhanced the interfacial electron transfer and reduced the charge recombination which resulted in a maximum of 20-fold increase of H 2 production compared to metal deposited TiO 2 in the presence of 4-chlorophenol.
    Energy & Environmental Science 03/2012; 5(6):7647-7656. DOI:10.1039/C2EE21310A · 20.52 Impact Factor
Show more