Principle and perspectives of hydrogen production through biocatalyzed electrolysis

Rozendal, René A., Hamelers, Hubertus V. M., Euverink, Gerrit J. W., Metz, Sybrand J. and Buisman, Cees J. N. (2006) Principle and perspectives of hydrogen production through biocatalyzed electrolysis. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 31 12: 1632-1640. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2005.12.006

Author Rozendal, René A.
Hamelers, Hubertus V. M.
Euverink, Gerrit J. W.
Metz, Sybrand J.
Buisman, Cees J. N.
Title Principle and perspectives of hydrogen production through biocatalyzed electrolysis
Journal name International Journal of Hydrogen Energy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0360-3199
Publication date 2006-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2005.12.006
Volume 31
Issue 12
Start page 1632
End page 1640
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject 09 Engineering
10 Technology
Formatted abstract
Biocatalyzed electrolysis is a novel biological hydrogen production process with the potential to efficiently convert a wide range of dissolved organic materials in wastewaters. Even substrates formerly regarded to be unsuitable for hydrogen production due to the endothermic nature of the involved conversion reactions can be converted with this technology. Biocatalyzed electrolysis achieves this by utilizing electrochemically active micro-organisms that are capable of generating electrical current from the oxidation of organic matter. When this biological anode is coupled to a proton reducing cathode by means of a power supply, hydrogen is generated. In the biocatalyzed electrolysis experiments presented in this article acetate is used as a model compound. In theory, biocatalyzed electrolysis of acetate requires applied voltages that can be as low as 0.14 V, while hydrogen production by means of conventional water electrolysis, in practice, requires applied voltages well above 1.6 V. At an applied voltage of 0.5 V the biocatalyzed electrolysis setup used in this study, produces approximately 0.02m3 H2/m3 reactor liquid volume/day from acetate at an overall efficiency of 53±3.5%. This performance was mainly limited by the current design of the system, diffusional loss of hydrogen from the cathode to the anode chamber and high overpotentials associated with the cathode reaction. In this article we show that optimization of the process will allow future volumetric hydrogen production rates above 10m3H2/m3 reactor liquid volume/day at overall efficiencies exceeding 90% and applied voltages as low as 0.3–0.4 V. In the future, this will make biocatalyzed electrolysis an attractive technology for hydrogen production from a wide variety of wastewaters.
Keyword Hydrogen production
Biocatalyzed electrolysis
Electrochemically active micro-organisms
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 285 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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