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The application of a novel fluidised photo reactor under UV–visible and natural solar irradiation in the photocatalytic generation of hydrogen

Skillen, Nathan and Adams, Morgan and McCullagh, Cathy and Ryu, Su Young and Fina, Federica and Hoffmann, Michael R. and Irvine, John T. S. and Robertson, Peter K. J. (2016) The application of a novel fluidised photo reactor under UV–visible and natural solar irradiation in the photocatalytic generation of hydrogen. Chemical Engineering Journal, 286 . pp. 610-621. ISSN 1385-8947.

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With advancements in the development of visible light responsive catalysts for H_2 production frequently being reported, photocatalytic water splitting has become an attractive method as a potential ‘solar fuel generator’. The development of novel photo reactors which can enhance the potential of such catalyst, however, is rarely reported. This is particularly important as many reactor configurations are mass transport limited, which in turn limits the efficiency of more effective photocatalysts in larger scale applications. This paper describes the performance of a novel fluidised photo reactor for the production of H_2 over two catalysts under UV–Visible light and natural solar illumination. Catalysts Pt-C_3N_4 and NaTaO_3·La were dispersed in the reactor and the rate of H2 was determined by GC-TCD analysis of the gas headspace. The unit was an annular reactor constructed from stainless steel 316 and quartz glass with a propeller located in the base to control fluidisation of powder catalysts. Reactor properties such as propeller rotational speed were found to enhance the photo activity of the system through the elimination of mass transport limitations and increasing light penetration. The optimum conditions for H_2 evolution were found to be a propeller rotational speed of 1035 rpm and 144 W of UV–Visible irradiation, which produced a rate of 89 μmol h^(−1) g^(−1) over Pt-C_3N_4. Solar irradiation was provided by the George Ellery Hale Solar Telescope, located at the California Institute of Technology.

Item Type:Article
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Hoffmann, Michael R.0000-0001-6495-1946
Additional Information:© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( Received 12 August 2015, Revised 27 October 2015, Accepted 29 October 2015, Available online 4 November 2015. This work was funded under the joint UK/US EPSRC/NSF International Collaboration in Chemistry Programme, Project number EP/H004130/1. The authors would like to thank the funders for their support which enabled this research to be carried out.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/H004130/1
Subject Keywords:Hydrogen; Water splitting; Photocatalysis; Fluidised photo reactor; Solar light
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160119-154820239
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Official Citation:Nathan Skillen, Morgan Adams, Cathy McCullagh, Su Young Ryu, Federica Fina, Michael R. Hoffmann, John T.S. Irvine, Peter K.J. Robertson, The application of a novel fluidised photo reactor under UV–Visible and natural solar irradiation in the photocatalytic generation of hydrogen, Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 286, 15 February 2016, Pages 610-621, ISSN 1385-8947, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63781
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:20 Jan 2016 20:34
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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