The global energy crisis and environmental pollution due to rapid industrialization and population growth have become two of the greatest challenges of human society. The utilization of solar energy and earth abundant water to produce hydrogen (H2) fuel by photocatalysis has great potential to solve these issues. Several research groups around the world have been working on solar-driven water splitting, however, the greatest obstacle to the realization of commercial solar water splitting is the requirement to produce H2 at a competitive cost compared to the current industrial hydrogen generation process involving the reforming of fossil fuels. In the light of robust, low-cost and large-scale H2 production, particulate photocatalyst suspension systems have a wider range of potential applications, although a method for separating the simultaneously produced H2 and O2 remains to be developed. In addition, solar to hydrogen conversion efficiency (STH) values achieved so far using particulate photocatalyst suspension are typically on the order of 0.1%. To enhance the STH, various strategies have been under investigation to achieve approximately 5-10% as it has been estimated that it would provide one third of the energy needs for human activities in 2050.
Presented by: Dr Madasamy Thangamuthu, Senior Postdoc
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