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Unassisted photochemical water oxidation to solar hydrogen peroxide production

Project description

Hydrogen peroxide could help heal the wounds of human activity on the planet

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has important potential as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. It can be produced in a solar cell exploiting the photochemical reduction of oxygen (O2) from the air and then used to generate electricity via H2O2 fuel cells. However, the photocatalytic production of H2O2 has remained a technical challenge, and, to date, there is no photocatalyst able to do the job unassisted – without the use of other materials or compounds. The EU-funded USHPP project is planning to deliver a solution for unassisted photochemical water oxidation leading to solar H2O2 production. The success of this endeavour will have a significant impact on the use of clean, sustainable, energy-dense H2O2 as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Objective

The growing demand for clean energy, and serious nature of global warming are unquestionable. Moreover, the finite nature of fossil fuel reserves and the increasing pace of climate change mean that we must find and harness clean and sustainable energy sources. H2O2 can be one such energy source because it is one of the most potent fuels, generating more energy than any other fuel without generating any pollutant. Although the green hydrogen economy is projected as a solution to clean energy demand, it suffers from storage problems due to the low volumetric energy density in the gas phase. However, there is no storage issue associated with liquid form H2O2. Undoubtedly, the photochemical O2 reduction route has great potential for H2O2 production but the systematic requirements limit its commercialization. However, there is no photocatalyst reported so far, which oxidized the water to H2O2 without any assistance (without the use of a sacrificial agent, external bias, oxygen supply, etc.). This project USHPP (Unassisted photochemical water oxidation to solar hydrogen peroxide production) is designed to address all these problems by synthesizing a stable, shielded, and water oxidizing PC for commercially viable and eco-friendly H2O2 production route. Furthermore, the spontaneous reduction of H+ ions to H2 in conduction band in the proposed USHPP project will resolve the major problem of gases separation associated with photochemical H2 production in powder system (as there will be two separate phases: H2O2 in liquid (oxidative product), and H2 in the gas phase (reductive product)). Further, the success of this project also opens the possibility of simultaneous production of H2O2 via H2O oxidation at valence band, and O2 reduction at conduction band, which will increase the H2O2 production rate without utilizing any sacrificial agent. The best use of in-situ solar H2O2 production system in combination with biocatalysts will bring multidisciplinary aspect to USHPP.

Coordinator

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
Address
NEWPORT ROAD 30 36
CF24 0DE Cardiff
United Kingdom

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Region
Wales East Wales Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 224 933,76