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Pathways to electrochemical solar-hydrogen technologies

Ardo, Shane and Saadi, Fadl H. (2018) Pathways to electrochemical solar-hydrogen technologies. Energy and Environmental Science, 11 (10). pp. 2768-2783. ISSN 1754-5692. doi:10.1039/c7ee03639f.

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Solar-powered electrochemical production of hydrogen through water electrolysis is an active and important research endeavor. However, technologies and roadmaps for implementation of this process do not exist. In this perspective paper, we describe potential pathways for solar-hydrogen technologies into the marketplace in the form of photoelectrochemical or photovoltaic-driven electrolysis devices and systems. We detail technical approaches for device and system architectures, economic drivers, societal perceptions, political impacts, technological challenges, and research opportunities. Implementation scenarios are broken down into short-term and long-term markets, and a specific technology roadmap is defined. In the short term, the only plausible economical option will be photovoltaic-driven electrolysis systems for niche applications. In the long term, electrochemical solar-hydrogen technologies could be deployed more broadly in energy markets but will require advances in the technology, significant cost reductions, and/or policy changes. Ultimately, a transition to a society that significantly relies on solar-hydrogen technologies will benefit from continued creativity and influence from the scientific community.

Item Type:Article
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Ardo, Shane0000-0001-7162-6826
Saadi, Fadl H.0000-0003-3941-0464
Additional Information:© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry. The article was received on 25 Dec 2017, accepted on 18 Jun 2018 and first published on 19 Jun 2018. The authors thank the Lorentz Center for hosting this workshop and all attendees of the workshop for their invaluable input, vision for solar and/or hydrogen technologies, and candid discussions. We are also grateful to other participants who voluntarily are not co-authors on this manuscript: Peter Achterberg, Sjoerd Bakker, Paulien Herder, Lai-Hung Lai, Eric McFarland, Christophe Moser, Rianne Post, and Martijn Van den Berge. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of any of their funding agencies. SA thanks the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fuel Cell Technologies Incubator Program under Award No. DE-EE0006963 for support. DFR acknowledges support by The Netherlands Centre for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC), an NWO Gravitation programme funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the government of The Netherlands. MAM acknowledges the support of New York University, Tandon School of Engineering through his startup grant. VSG and KK acknowledge support by the Dutch NanoNextNL programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Part of the material on photoelectrochemical systems presented in the workshop is based upon work performed by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, supported through the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Award Number DE-SC0004993, which provides support for FH. VA thanks the European Commission's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 306398 (FP7-IDEAS-ERS, Project PhotocatH2ode) and Labex Program (ArCANE, ANR-11-LABX-0003-01). TR acknowledges the UK Solar Fuels Network for his travel bursary. The contributions of DFR and HG were carried out within the research programme of BioSolar Cells, co-financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. PW and HG acknowledge the support by the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM, Project No. 13CO12-1), which is part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). SG is funded through research grant number 9455 from the VILLUM FONDEN. SMHH thanks Nano-Tera Initiative (Grant no. 20NA21-145936) for financial support. MHT acknowledges NSF-CBET-1602886. FB acknowledges financial support from the research programme of BioSolar Cells, co-financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (project C4.E3). DB acknowledges the financial support of Dieptestrategie program from Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. SH acknowledges support by the Swiss National Science Foundation through the Starting Grant SCOUTS (grant #155876). The views and opinions of the author(s) expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. There are no conflicts to declare.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-EE0006963
Netherlands Centre for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC)UNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Netherlands)UNSPECIFIED
New York UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Economic Affairs (Netherlands)C4.E3
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0004993
European Research Council (ERC)306398
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-11-LABX-0003-01
UK Solar Fuels NetworkUNSPECIFIED
Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM)13CO12-1
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
Nano-Tera Initiative20NA21-145936
Zernike InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)155876
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180716-131835348
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87889
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Jul 2018 22:56
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:21

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