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Issue 3, 2019
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Unbiased solar H2 production with current density up to 23 mA cm−2 by Swiss-cheese black Si coupled with wastewater bioanode

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Abstract

Unbiased photoelectrochemical hydrogen production with high efficiency and durability is highly desired for solar energy storage. Here, we report a microbial photoelectrochemical (MPEC) system that demonstrated superior performance when equipped with bioanodes and black silicon photocathode with a unique “Swiss-cheese” interface. The MPEC utilizes the chemical energy embedded in wastewater organics to boost solar H2 production, which overcomes barriers on anode H2O oxidation. Without any bias, the MPEC generates a record photocurrent (up to 23 mA cm−2) and retains prolonged stability for over 90 hours with high Faradaic efficiency (96–99%). The calculated turnover number for MoSx catalyst during a 90 h period is 495 471 with an average frequency of 1.53 s−1. The system replaced pure water on the anode with actual wastewater and achieved waste organic removal up to 16 kg COD m−2 photocathode per day. Cost credits from concurrent wastewater treatment and low-cost design make photoelectrochemical H2 production practical for the first time.

Graphical abstract: Unbiased solar H2 production with current density up to 23 mA cm−2 by Swiss-cheese black Si coupled with wastewater bioanode

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Submitted
18 Dec 2018
Accepted
18 Feb 2019
First published
19 Feb 2019

Energy Environ. Sci., 2019,12, 1088-1099
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Unbiased solar H2 production with current density up to 23 mA cm−2 by Swiss-cheese black Si coupled with wastewater bioanode

L. Lu, W. Vakki, J. A. Aguiar, C. Xiao, K. Hurst, M. Fairchild, X. Chen, F. Yang, J. Gu and Z. J. Ren, Energy Environ. Sci., 2019, 12, 1088
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE03673J

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