KADAPA: A highly efficient photo catalytic process for non-stop hydrogen gas generation from water solution exposed to solar light has been developed by the Nano-Catalysis and Solar Fuels Research Laboratory at Yogi Vemana University here.
The photocatalyst was synthesized through an innovative and simple approach and it achieved mono-dispersed core/shell nano spheres via surfactant mediated approach, the laborary functioning under the department of materials science and nanotechnology has explained.
The gas can be stored and carried for later utilization or can be used immediately as fuel for motor vehicle engines fitted with PEM fuel cell devices.
Current rate of global energy consumption demands the best alternative energy source, especially from sustainable and renewable energy processes, which should be an environmentally benign process to have zero-carbon emission as compared to that of fossil fuels.
Among the renewable energy sources, photo catalysis led solar to hydrogen production from aqueous solution at near ambient conditions is a promising route. So far, several photo catalysts have been reported for splitting water into hydrogen gas production under sunlight. However, a sustainable photo catalysis performance remains a challenge as photocatalyst materials undergo either photo or chemical corrosion.
Recently, a physical route derived from a thin nanoscale metal oxide shell layer, coated with a photocatalyst surface, showed significant improvement against photo corrosion issues. But the physical routes are either expensive or involve complicated synthesis routes. The alternate chemical route offers a low-cost solution in this matter,” scientists explained.
It needs more attention to achieve a uniform or controlled post-deposition metal oxide layer on the photocatalyst surface.
The work is part of the on-going collaborative project between YV University at Kadapa and Dr. M Sathish, scientist and co-principal investigator of the project, CSIR-CECRI, Karaikudi, funded by the central ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), said Dr. MV Shankar, professor and principal investigator of the project in the department of materials science and nanotechnology, YV University.
The control of surface-interface properties through effective synthesis methods and parameters used for photo-catalytic experiments played a vital role in hydrogen production efficiency. Controlled synthesis of shell-thickness at nano scale, particularly at uniform distribution, was a significant achievement of this publication, they said.
Vice chancellor Prof M Surya Kalavathi applauded all the authors for achieving best results and high impact. “It is a rare distinction for a state university in a rural place like this. The faculty must go for collaboration with other universities and research institutes rich in facilities to take YV University to newer heights,” she suggested.
This type of publications will be beneficial to the university to get higher grades in NAAC Accreditation, apart from aiding in the development of new and innovative technology beneficial to the society, she said....