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Tuning the CH4 reforming toward to green hydrogen driven by piezo-enhanced photoelectrochemical reaction

Grant number: 22/05149-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2022
Effective date (End): September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Cauê Ribeiro de Oliveira
Grantee:Jéssica Ariane de Oliveira
Supervisor abroad: Sanjay Mathur
Home Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Cologne (UoC), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:19/21496-0 - Photoelectrochemical system design for CO2 and CH4 conversion to valuable products, BP.PD


Molecular hydrogen is an alternative to fossil fuels due to it is eco-friendly and presents high energy density. The "green hydrogen" route can be achieved through the water splitting by a photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction powered by sunlight. PEC devices can be designed with two separated compartments; the water reduction occurs in the cathodic side to form H2, while at the same time the partial oxidation of methane into methanol can occurs in the anodic chamber. This innovative configuration can lead to a most economically attractive system. The CH4 reforming is interesting because besides being a reaction of commercial interest, there is also an environmental concern associated to the release of tons of methane per year as this gas is one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect. The kinetic barrier will be addressed in this study by the effective coupling of piezoelectric actuation with PEC processes in order to accelerate the electron transfer from catalyst to molecular adsorbates. A PEC reactor with industrial design will be used for the simultaneous hydrogen evolution and CH4 conversion to valuable compounds. The photoanode and photocathode electrodes will consist of Fe2O3-TiO2@KNN and WSe2@KNN, respectively, where KNN (K0.5Na0.5NbO3) is the piezoelectric material. The PEC reactor will be studied considering micro fluid dynamics elements and process intensification. (AU)

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