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Hydrogen from Sunlight and Water: A Side-by-Side Comparison between Photoelectrochemical and Solar Thermochemical Water-Splitting

Cheng, Wen-Hui and de la Calle, Alberto and Atwater, Harry A. and Stechel, Ellen B. and Xiang, Chengxiang (2021) Hydrogen from Sunlight and Water: A Side-by-Side Comparison between Photoelectrochemical and Solar Thermochemical Water-Splitting. ACS Energy Letters, 6 (9). pp. 3096-3113. ISSN 2380-8195. doi:10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00758. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210830-230028535

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Abstract

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) and solar thermochemical (STCH) water-splitting represent two promising pathways for direct solar hydrogen generation. PEC water-splitting integrates multiple functional materials and utilizes energetic electrons and holes generated from sunlight to produce hydrogen and oxygen in two half-reactions, while STCH water-splitting couples a series of consecutive chemical reactions and uses absorbed heat from sunlight to generate hydrogen and oxygen in two full reactions. In this Focus Review, the basic operating principles, sunlight utilization, device architecture, reactor design, instantaneous and annually averaged solar-to-hydrogen (STH) conversion efficiency, and the operating conditions and constraints of both pathways are compared. A side-by-side comparison addresses some common sources of confusion and misinterpretation, especially in the evaluation of STH conversion efficiencies, and reveals distinct features and challenges in both PEC and STCH technologies. This Focus Review also addresses materials and device challenges in PEC and STCH for cost-competitive hydrogen generation.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00758DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Cheng, Wen-Hui0000-0003-3233-4606
de la Calle, Alberto0000-0002-5510-7943
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Stechel, Ellen B.0000-0002-5379-2908
Xiang, Chengxiang0000-0002-1698-6754
Additional Information:© 2021 American Chemical Society. Received: April 9, 2021; Accepted: July 22, 2021; Published: August 16, 2021. W.-H.C. acknowledges the support from Ministry of Science and Technology (2030 Cross-Generation Young Scholars Program), Taiwan and Ministry of Education (Yushan Scholar Program), Taiwan. The authors acknowledge the support from the Fuel Cell Technologies Office, of the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under contract number DE-EE0008092. The PEC analysis was partly based on work performed by the Liquid Sunlight Alliance, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Fuels from Sunlight Hub under Award Number DE-SC0021266. This material is also partially based on work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) under Award No. DE–EE0008991. Author Contributions: Wen-Hui Cheng and Alberto de la Calle contributed equally to this work. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Group:Liquid Sunlight Alliance
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)UNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Education (Taipei)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-EE0008092
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0021266
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-EE0008991
Subject Keywords:Redox reactions, Hydrogen, Power conversion efficiency, Power, Materials
Issue or Number:9
DOI:10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00758
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210830-230028535
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210830-230028535
Official Citation:Hydrogen from Sunlight and Water: A Side-by-Side Comparison between Photoelectrochemical and Solar Thermochemical Water-Splitting. Wen-Hui Cheng, Alberto de la Calle, Harry A. Atwater, Ellen B. Stechel, and Chengxiang Xiang. ACS Energy Letters 2021 6 (9), 3096-3113; DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00758
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110623
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:31 Aug 2021 19:53
Last Modified:17 Sep 2021 21:25

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