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HYSYDAYS<br>1st World Congress of Young Scientists on Hydrogen Energy Systems

ISBN:
1-56700-230-7 (Print)

MICROWAVES AND U.V. RADIATION FOR HYDROGEN EVOLUTION THROUGH PHOTOLYSIS

Alessandro Dell’era
CIRPS − Universita di Roma “La Sapienza” Via Eudossiana 18 Rome, Italy

Abstract

The hydrogen production through photolysis can be achieved using particular electromagnetic waves: namely, microwaves and U.V. waves.
To do it in an efficient way a catalyst is needed. This work studies some promising possibilities linked to the use of titanium oxides the and copper oxides catalysts.
The process is a degradation process of various hydrogen compounds that are to be tested with each catalyst to know the best catalyst-compound matching. The hydrogen compounds are mixed in a suitable solvent and first exposed to microwaves and visible light, and later to U.V. waves.
The same hydrogen compounds solution, by loops, passes through this system for many times and determines the hydrogen evolution. So the quality and quantity of the gas produced is analysed and by so doing the efficiency of the process is determined. At the end the possibility of adding an electrolysis system for improving the overall efficiency is examined.
Between fuels there is the hydrogen that is a clean fuel and can be used in a fuel cell producing only electricity, water, and heat.
Hydrogen can be obtained by reforming from hydrocarbons, or can be produced by electrolyzing water with produced from a renewable source. Photovoltaic is a renewable source that could provide the electricity to feed an electrolyzer producing hydrogen that obtained in this way can be employed in a fuel cell producing energy.
The objective of many researchers is to split water directly on the surface of a semiconductor material combining photovoltaic and electrolyzer process into one unit.
By photoelectrochemical means we can, in principle, achieve the direct conversion of solar energy into hydrogen as a storable energy source. However, despite high conversion efficiencies obtained in wet solar cells for the conversion into electrical energy using reversible redox systems in the electrolyte, the direct splitting of water using visible light was still not achieved.