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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1073/PNAS.2024855118

Continuous electrochemical water splitting from natural water sources via forward osmosis.

02 Mar 2021-Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (National Academy of Sciences)-Vol. 118, Iss: 9
Abstract: Electrochemical water splitting stores energy as equivalents of hydrogen and oxygen and presents a potential route to the scalable storage of renewable energy. Widespread implementation of such energy storage, however, will be facilitated by abundant and accessible sources of water. We describe herein a means of utilizing impure water sources (e.g., saltwater) for electrochemical water splitting by leveraging forward osmosis. A concentration gradient induces the flow of water from an impure water source into a more concentrated designed electrolyte. This concentration gradient may subsequently be maintained by water splitting, where rates of water influx (i.e., forward osmosis) and effective outflux (i.e., water splitting) are balanced. This approach of coupling forward osmosis to water splitting allows for the use of impure and natural sources without pretreatment and with minimal losses in energy efficiency.

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Topics: Forward osmosis (64%), Water splitting (58%), Energy storage (52%)
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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1039/D0EE03659E
Abstract: Electrocatalytic water splitting is the key process for the formation of green fuels for energy transport and storage in a sustainable energy economy. Besides electricity, it requires water, an aspect that seldomly has been considered until recently. As freshwater is a limited resource (<1% of earth's water), lately, plentiful reports were published on direct seawater (around 96.5% of earth's water) splitting without or with additives (buffers or bases). Alternatively, the seawater can be split in two steps, where it is first purified by reverse osmosis and then split in a conventional water electrolyser. This quantitative analysis discusses the challenges of the direct usage of non-purified seawater. Further, herein, we compare the energy requirements and costs of seawater purification with those of conventional water splitting. We find that direct seawater splitting has substantial drawbacks compared to conventional water splitting and bears almost no advantage. In short, it is less promising than the two-step scenario, as the capital and operating costs of water purification are insignificant compared to those of electrolysis of pure water.

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Topics: Seawater (58%), Reverse osmosis (53%), Water splitting (53%)

11 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.JOULE.2021.03.018
Bruce E. Logan1, Le Shi1, Ruggero Rossi1Institutions (1)
21 Apr 2021-Joule
Abstract: Hydrogen gas will play an increasingly critical role in developing a carbon-neutral energy infrastructure, but it will need to be produced by water splitting using renewable electricity sources. A recent study by Veroneau and Nocera in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests an electrolyzer that produces desalinated water from abundant seawater by using forward osmosis.

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Topics: Forward osmosis (54%), Renewable energy (52%), Seawater (51%)

3 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1021/ACSAMI.1C13236
Jingnan Zheng1, Xiang Sun, Jiaxi Hu, Shibin Wang1  +5 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Two-dimensional (2D) materials have been developed into various catalysts with high performance, but employing them for developing highly stable and active nonprecious hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts still encounters many challenges. To this end, the machine learning (ML) screening of HER catalysts is accelerated by using genetic programming (GP) of symbolic transformers for various typical 2D MA2Z4 materials. The values of the Gibbs free energy of hydrogen adsorption (ΔGH*) are accurately and rapidly predicted via extreme gradient boosting regression by using only simple GP-processed elemental features, with a low predictive root-mean-square error of 0.14 eV. With the analysis of ML and density functional theory (DFT) methods, it is found that various electronic structural properties of metal atoms and the p-band center of surface atoms play a crucial role in regulating the HER performance. Based on these findings, NbSi2N4 and VSi2N4 are discovered to be active catalysts with thermodynamical and dynamical stability as ΔGH* approaches to zero (-0.041 and 0.024 eV). In addition, DFT calculations reveal that these catalysts also exhibit good deuterium evolution reaction (DER) performance. Overall, a multistep workflow is developed through ML models combined with DFT calculations for efficiently screening the potential HER and DER catalysts from 2D materials with the same crystal prototype, which is believed to have significant contribution to catalyst design and fabrication.

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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1039/D1EE02265B
Ruggero Rossi1, Derek M. Hall1, Le Shi1, Nicholas R. Cross1  +3 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Saline water represents an inexhaustible source of water for hydrogen production from electrolysis. However, direct saltwater splitting faces challenges due to chlorine evolution at the anode and the development of Nernst overpotential due to sodium ion transport competition with protons across the membrane. A new approach to minimize chlorine evolution and improve performance is proposed here by using a humidified gas stream (no liquid electrolyte) for the anode and a liquid saltwater catholyte. Charge repulsion of chloride ions by the proton exchange membrane (PEM) resulted in low chlorine generation, with anodic faradaic efficiencies for oxygen evolution of 100 ± 1% with a synthetic brackish water (50 mM NaCl, 3 g L−1) and 96 ± 2% with synthetic seawater (0.5 M NaCl, 30 g L−1). The enhanced proton transport by the electric field enabled more efficient pH control across the cell, minimizing sodium ion transport in the absence of a liquid anolyte. The vapor-fed anode configuration showed similar performance to a conventional PEM electrolyzer up to 1 A cm−2 when both anode and cathode were fed with deionized water. Much lower overpotentials could be achieved using the vapor-fed anode compared to a liquid-anolyte due to the reduced sodium ion transport through the membranes, as shown by adding NaClO4 to the electrolytes. This vapor-fed anode configuration allows for direct use of saltwater in conventional electrolyzers without additional water purification at high faradaic efficiencies.

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Topics: Sodium ion transport (61%), Anode (60%), Proton transport (60%) ... read more

References
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30 results found


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7,500 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1073/PNAS.0603395103
Nathan S. Lewis1, Daniel G. Nocera2Institutions (2)
Abstract: Global energy consumption is projected to increase, even in the face of substantial declines in energy intensity, at least 2-fold by midcentury relative to the present because of population and economic growth. This demand could be met, in principle, from fossil energy resources, particularly coal. However, the cumulative nature of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere demands that holding atmospheric CO2 levels to even twice their preanthropogenic values by midcentury will require invention, development, and deployment of schemes for carbon-neutral energy production on a scale commensurate with, or larger than, the entire present-day energy supply from all sources combined. Among renewable energy resources, solar energy is by far the largest exploitable resource, providing more energy in 1 hour to the earth than all of the energy consumed by humans in an entire year. In view of the intermittency of insolation, if solar energy is to be a major primary energy source, it must be stored and dispatched on demand to the end user. An especially attractive approach is to store solar-converted energy in the form of chemical bonds, i.e., in a photosynthetic process at a year-round average efficiency significantly higher than current plants or algae, to reduce land-area requirements. Scientific challenges involved with this process include schemes to capture and convert solar energy and then store the energy in the form of chemical bonds, producing oxygen from water and a reduced fuel such as hydrogen, methane, methanol, or other hydrocarbon species.

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Topics: Primary energy (68%), Energy development (65%), Energy intensity (65%) ... read more

6,324 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1021/CR100246C
10 Nov 2010-Chemical Reviews
Abstract: 1. Setting the Scope of the Challenge 6474 1.1. The Need for Solar Energy Supply and Storage 6474 1.2. An Imperative for Discovery Research 6477 1.3. Scope of Review 6478 2. Large-Scale Centralized Energy Storage 6478 2.1. Pumped Hydroelectric Energy Storage (PHES) 6479 2.2. Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) 6480 3. Smaller Scale Grid and Distributed Energy Storage 6481 3.1. Flywheel Energy Storage (FES) 6481 3.2. Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage 6482 4. Chemical Energy Storage: Electrochemical 6482 4.1. Batteries 6482 4.1.1. Lead-Acid Batteries 6483 4.1.2. Alkaline Batteries 6484 4.1.3. Lithium-Ion Batteries 6484 4.1.4. High-Temperature Sodium Batteries 6484 4.1.5. Liquid Flow Batteries 6485 4.1.6. Metal-Air Batteries 6485 4.2. Capacitors 6485 5. Chemical Energy Storage: Solar Fuels 6486 5.1. Solar Fuels in Nature 6486 5.2. Artificial Photosynthesis and General Considerations of Water Splitting 6486

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Topics: Solar energy (59%)

2,248 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1021/AR900209B
Abstract: Because sunlight is diffuse and intermittent, substantial use of solar energy to meet humanity’s needs will probably require energy storage in dense, transportable media via chemical bonds. Practical, cost effective technologies for conversion of sunlight directly into useful fuels do not currently exist, and will require new basic science. Photosynthesis provides a blueprint for solar energy storage in fuels. Indeed, all of the fossil-fuel-based energy consumed today derives from sunlight harvested by photosynthetic organisms. Artificial photosynthesis research applies the fundamental scientific principles of the natural process to the design of solar energy conversion systems. These constructs use different materials, and researchers tune them to produce energy efficiently and in forms useful to humans. Fuel production via natural or artificial photosynthesis requires three main components. First, antenna/reaction center complexes absorb sunlight and convert the excitation energy to electrochemical ener...

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Topics: Solar energy (58%), Artificial photosynthesis (56%), Energy storage (54%)

1,603 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1021/AR2003013
Daniel G. Nocera1Institutions (1)
Abstract: To convert the energy of sunlight into chemical energy, the leaf splits water via the photosynthetic process to produce molecular oxygen and hydrogen, which is in a form of separated protons and electrons. The primary steps of natural photosynthesis involve the absorption of sunlight and its conversion into spatially separated electron–hole pairs. The holes of this wireless current are captured by the oxygen evolving complex (OEC) of photosystem II (PSII) to oxidize water to oxygen. The electrons and protons produced as a byproduct of the OEC reaction are captured by ferrodoxin of photosystem I. With the aid of ferrodoxin–NADP+ reductase, they are used to produce hydrogen in the form of NADPH. For a synthetic material to realize the solar energy conversion function of the leaf, the light-absorbing material must capture a solar photon to generate a wireless current that is harnessed by catalysts, which drive the four electron/hole fuel-forming water-splitting reaction under benign conditions and under 1 su...

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Topics: Artificial photosynthesis (56%), Oxygen-evolving complex (55%), Photosystem II (55%) ... read more

1,359 Citations


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YearCitations
20215