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Highly Efficient Hydrogen and Electricity Production Combined with Degradation of Organics Based on a Novel Solar Water-Energy Nexus System

  • Sheng Chang
    Sheng Chang
    Institute of Environmental Research at Greater Bay; Key Laboratory for Water Quality and Conservation of the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China
    More by Sheng Chang
  • Chun Hu
    Chun Hu
    Institute of Environmental Research at Greater Bay; Key Laboratory for Water Quality and Conservation of the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China
    More by Chun Hu
  • Ahmad Beyhaqi
    Ahmad Beyhaqi
    Institute of Environmental Research at Greater Bay; Key Laboratory for Water Quality and Conservation of the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China
  • Mingqi Wang
    Mingqi Wang
    Institute of Environmental Research at Greater Bay; Key Laboratory for Water Quality and Conservation of the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China
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  • , and 
  • Qingyi Zeng*
    Qingyi Zeng
    Institute of Environmental Research at Greater Bay; Key Laboratory for Water Quality and Conservation of the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China
    *E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]. Phone: +86-10-39346609. Fax: +86-10-62923541.
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Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12, 2, 2505–2515
Publication Date (Web):December 18, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b18989
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

A novel unassisted solar water-energy nexus system (SWENS) comprised of a monolithic photoanode, which was assembled by attaching a silicon cell (SC) at the reverse side of a high-activity hyaline antimony-doped TiO2 nanorod array (Sb/TNR), and a Pt-black/Pt cathode was proposed for effective electricity and hydrogen production accompanying water treatment. The Sb/TNR with vertically arranged nanorods on a F-doped SnO2 substrate, using a simple hydrothermal method, showed an excellently enhanced and stable photo-to-current density of ∼1.77 mA cm–2 (0.6 V vs Ag/AgCl), which is ∼181% that of the undoped sample because antimony doping enhanced the charge-transfer property and charge-carrier density of Sb/TNR. The SWENS showed a removal ratio of nearly 100% for 2-chlorophenol after 4 h of operation under AM 1.5 illumination and achieved an average H2 production rate of 31.4 μmol h–1 cm–2, an excellent electricity output with an open-circuit voltage of ∼2.16 V, a short-circuit current of ∼1857 μA cm–2, and a maximum power output of ∼967 μW cm–2, which is ∼10.8 times higher than the power density of the reported state-of-the-art photocatalytic fuel cell (PFC). This outstanding capability is due to the synergistic effect of the monolithic photoanode, in which the prepositive Sb/TNR generates abundant electrons and holes using short-wavelength photons, and the SC provides much higher potential than traditional PFCs to drive the electrons being transported to the cathode by absorbing the transmission of longer wavelength photons. The results also revealed that the SWENS showed remarkably stability in long-term application and is effective in clean energy production while degrading various refractory organics. This work proposed a new effective way to develop a composite water-energy nexus technology for simultaneous clean energy generation and water treatment.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.9b18989.

  • Control experiments of Sb doping, TBT amount, hydrothermal temperature, illumination area, and 2-CP concentration, stability test of Sb/TNR, radicals trapping result, effect of 2-CP on Q of SWENS, electricity output for various pH values, and comparison with reported PFCs in electricity production (PDF)

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