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Improved Photo-electrolysis technology based on novel nanocomposites for production of sustainable hydrogen

Project information

Grant agreement ID: INTAS 2005-1000005-7667

  • Start date

    1 May 2006

  • End date

    30 April 2008

Funded under:

IC-INTAS

  • Overall budget:

    € 100 000

  • EU contribution

    € 122 882

Coordinated by:

DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Netherlands

Objective

The project concerns the research and development of a novel 3D nano-structured photo-anode for the direct photo-electrolysis of water to produce sustainable hydrogen. Improvements are found in the field of new synthesis technique, i.e., the cold-wall vacuum co-deposition, which allows multy-layered 3D nano-composite photo-anode fabrication, and in the novel Photo-ElectroChemical Conversion and Storage-cell (PECCS-cell) for the production and storage of hydrogen using solar energy. The final structure of the 3D photo-anode will exhibit improved visible-light absorption as a result of light-scattering due to the nano-structured surface morphology, increase of the visible-light absorption due to the sensitizers, and increase of the absorption efficiency by doping of TiO2. The absorption processes, photo-catalysis, defect distributions, and the charge transition process of the 3D nano-structured photo-anode will be investigated by using high-resolution scanning tunnel microscopy. The donor density will be studied using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), using for the DC-voltage dependence of the space-charge capacitance data the Mott-Schottky analysis. This analysis will provide quantitative information on the effect of the dopant on the semi-conductivity of the TiO2 particles in the composite photo-anode. If the sensitizer molecules form a percolating network, the Mott-Schottky analysis will be extended to this p-type network as well. The photo-anode and the storage compartment will be assembled in a photo-electrochemical cell and the photo-response of the novel PECCS-cell will be studied in detail. Two types of counter-electrode will be studied: (i) a conventional inert metallic counter electrode in the solution, (ii) the novel electrode compartment comprising the metal-hydride (MHx) and the proton-conducting ceramic membrane. The integrated electrode comprising the hydride-forming metal (MHx) connected to the aqueous electrolyte via a proton-conducting ceramic membrane and provides the in-situ storage of hydrogen. The H2 content of the MHx storage electrode will be monitored with a Nernst-type sensor using a small area of MHx as sensing electrode coupled to a thin proton-conducting membrane and a reference MHx,ref electrode. Synthesis of potential proton-conducting materials, characterisation of the crystal structure and defect chemistry as well as analysis of the chemical compatibility and stability between the proton-conducting membrane and the electrolyte interface, and between the proton-conducting membrane and MHx are an integral part of the project. The combination of the partners merge the above knowledge and expertise from different fields of science, and it is anticipated that the synergy of this will result in an efficient approach for an improved photo-electrolysis technology based on novel nano-composites for the production of sustainable hydrogen.

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Coordinator

DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Address

Julianalaan, 136
Delft

Netherlands

Participants (3)

KARPOV INSTITUTE OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY

Russia

SEMENOV INSTITUTE OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS

Russia

TRANSILVANIA UNIVERSITY OF BRASOV

Romania

Project information

Grant agreement ID: INTAS 2005-1000005-7667

  • Start date

    1 May 2006

  • End date

    30 April 2008

Funded under:

IC-INTAS

  • Overall budget:

    € 100 000

  • EU contribution

    € 122 882

Coordinated by:

DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Netherlands