Fuel Production from Seawater and Fuel Cells Using Seawater

Shunichi Fukuzumi, Yong Min Lee, Wonwoo Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seawater is the most abundant resource on our planet and fuel production from seawater has the notable advantage that it would not compete with growing demands for pure water. This Review focuses on the production of fuels from seawater and their direct use in fuel cells. Electrolysis of seawater under appropriate conditions affords hydrogen and dioxygen with 100 % faradaic efficiency without oxidation of chloride. Photoelectrocatalytic production of hydrogen from seawater provides a promising way to produce hydrogen with low cost and high efficiency. Microbial solar cells (MSCs) that use biofilms produced in seawater can generate electricity from sunlight without additional fuel because the products of photosynthesis can be utilized as electrode reactants, whereas the electrode products can be utilized as photosynthetic reactants. Another important source for hydrogen is hydrogen sulfide, which is abundantly found in Black Sea deep water. Hydrogen produced by electrolysis of Black Sea deep water can also be used in hydrogen fuel cells. Production of a fuel and its direct use in a fuel cell has been made possible for the first time by a combination of photocatalytic production of hydrogen peroxide from seawater and dioxygen in the air and its direct use in one-compartment hydrogen peroxide fuel cells to obtain electric power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4264-4276
Number of pages13
JournalChemSusChem
Volume10
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • electrolysis
  • fuel cells
  • photocatalysis
  • solar cells
  • water splitting

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