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


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
  • Source
    • "(Jiangsu, China). The Pt black/Ni foam cathodes were prepared by depositing Pt black on Ni foam as described in a previous publication [18] [19]. Specifically, the preparation was processed in the electrolyte solution containing 30 mg mL À1 H 2 PtCl 6 and 2e5 mg mL À1 Pb(CH 2 COOH) 2 at a constant current density (10e40 mA cm À2 ) and at a room temperature for 20 min. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Polypyrrole functionalized nickel foam is facilely prepared through the potentiostatic electrodeposition. The PPy-functionalized Ni foam functions as a hydrogen-evolution cathode in a rotating disk photocatalytic fuel cell, in which hydrogen energy and electric power are generated by consuming organic wastes. The PPy-functionalized Ni foam cathode exhibits stable catalytic activities after thirteen continuous runs. Compared with net or plate structure, the Ni foam with a unique three-dimensional reticulate structure is conducive to the electrodeposition of PPy. Compared with Pt-group electrode, PPy-coated Ni foam shows a satisfactory catalytic performance for the H2 evolution. The combination of PPy and Ni forms a synergistic effect for the rapid trapping and removal of proton from solution and the catalytic reduction of proton to hydrogen. The PPy-functionalized Ni foam could be applied in photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical generation of H2. In all, we report a low cost, high efficient and earth abundant PPy-functionalized Ni foam with a satisfactory catalytic activities comparable to Pt for the practical application of poly-generation of hydrogen and electricity.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Power Sources
  • [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.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry
  • [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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Electrochemistry Communications
Show more