Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

H2O and Sunlight as an Alternative to Petroleum Fuels; Pros and Cons

Prasad P., Shrinivasa Mayya D., Savitha M. B.


The increased requirements of energy and the increased rate of pollution have forced us to find an alternative to petroleum fuels. The tremendous research on nonmaterials has opened new opportunities for the utilization of renewable energy. Semiconductor nanotechnologies are contributing towards their applications in hydrogen fuel production by splitting water by using solar energy. This review report gives the introduction to water-splitting, electrolysis of water, photosynthesis, photocatalytic water-splitting, photoelectrochemical water-splitting, factors influencing photocatalytic activity, and tandem cells with their advantages and limitations. The review concludes with the possible devices for the effective production of hydrogen fuel, and a system with a combined artificial photosynthesis water-splitting system with a hydrogen fuel cell as an alternative to petroleum fuels.

Full Text:



Manish S, Ranu G, Akhilesh A, et al. Assessment of different alternative fuels for internal combustion engine: A review. International Journal of Engineering Research & Management Technology, 2015, 2(3), 103-9p.

Jaichandar S, Annamalai K. The status of biodiesel as an alternative fuel for diesel engine–an overview. Journal of Sustainable Energy & Environment, 2013, 2(2), 71-5p.

Negurescu N, Pana C, Popa M. G, et al. Performance comparison between hydrogen and gasoline fuelled SI engine. Thermal Science, 2011, 15(4), 1155-64p.

Hauch A, Ebbesen D, Jensen H, et al. Highly efficient high temperature electrolysis. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2008, 18 (20), 2331-40p.

Takaya O, Mizutomo T, Yuya K. Analysis of Trends and Emerging Technologies in Water Electrolysis Research Based on a Computational Method: A Comparison with Fuel Cell Research. Sustainability, 2018, 10(478), 1-24p.

Wang M, Wang Z, Gong X, et al. The intensification technologies to water electrolysis for hydrogen production - A review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev., 2014, 29, 573–88p.

Weber F, Dignam J. Splitting water with semiconducting photoelectrodes—Efficiency considerations. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 1986, 11, 225-32p,

Melis A, Neidhardt J, Benemann R. Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyta) with small chlorophyll antenna sizes exhibit higher photosynthetic productivities and photon use efficiencies than normally pigmented cells. J. appl. Phycol., 1999, 10, 515-52p.

del Valle F. Water Splitting on Semiconductor Catalysts under Visible-Light Irradiation. Chem. Sus. Chem., 2009, 2 (6), 471-85p.

del Valle F. Photocatalytic water splitting under visible Light: concept and materials requirements. Advances in Chemical Engineering, 2009, 36, 111–43p.

Matthew W, Daniel G. In Situ Formation of an Oxygen-Evolving Catalyst in Neutral Water Containing Phosphate and Co2+. Science, 2008, 321, 1072-5p.

Kevin B. Sun + Water = Fuel, Solar-Power Breakthrough: Researchers have found a cheap and easy way to store the energy made by solar power, MIT Technology Review. 2008.

del Valle F, Ishikawa A, Domen K, et al. Influence of Zn concentration in the activity of Cd1-xZnxS solid solutions for water splitting under visible light. Catalysis Today, 2009, 143 (1–2), 51-9p.

John A, Todd D, Jeff H, et al. Photoelectrochemical Water Systems for H2 Production. 2006 DOE Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Review, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2006.

Brian D. Silicon/nickel water splitter could lead to cheaper hydrogen. New Atlas, 2013.

Deutsch G, Head L, Turner A. Photoelectrochemical Characterization and Durability Analysis of GaInPN Epilayers. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2008, 155 (9), B903.

Wang H, Deutsch T, Turner A. Direct Water Splitting Under Visible Light with a Nanostructured Photoanode and GaInP2 Photocathode. ECS Transactions, 2008, 6 (37), 91-6p.

Tahir M, Amin S. Advances in visible light responsive titanium oxide-based photocatalysts for CO2 conversion to hydrocarbon fuels. Energy Conversion and Management, 2013, 76, 194-214p.

Yang P, Zhao J, Chang X, et al. The functionality of surface hydroxy groups on the selectivity and activity of carbon dioxide reduction over cuprous oxide in aqueous solutions. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2018, 57, 7724-8p.

Wang T, Gong J. Single-crystal semiconductors with narrow band gaps for solar water splitting, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2015, 54, 10718-32p.

Al-Azri N, Chen W-T, Chan A, et al. The roles of metal co-catalysts and reaction media in photocatalytic hydrogen production: performance evaluation of M/TiO2 photocatalysts (M¼Pd, Pt, Au) in different alcohol-water mixtures. Journal of Catalysis, 2015, 329, 355-67p.

Zuo F, Wang L, Feng P. Self-doped Ti3+ enhanced photocatalyst for hydrogen production under visible light. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132 (34), 11856-67p.

Si Yin Tee, Khin Yin Win, Wee Siang Teo, et al. Recent progress in energy-driven water splitting. Adv Sci, 2017, 4, 1600337p.

Al-Hamdi M, Rinner U, Sillanpaa M. Tin dioxide as a photocatalyst for water treatment: a review. Process Saf Environ Prot, 2017, 107, 190-205p.

Puga V. Photocatalytic production of hydrogen from biomass-derived feedstocks. Coord Chem Rev, 2016, 315, 1-66p.

Ahmad H, Kamarudin K, Minggu J, et al. Hydrogen from photo-catalytic water splitting process: a review. Renew Sust Energy Rev, 2015, 43, 599-610p.

Clarizia L, Spasiano D, Di Somma I, et al. Copper modified-TiO2 catalysts for hydrogen generation through photoreforming of organics. A short review. Int J Hydrogen Energy, 2014, 39, 16812-31p.

Haussener S, Xiang C, Spurgeon M, et al. Modeling, simulation, and design criteria for photoelectrochemical water-splitting systems. Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 9922-35p.

Hu S, Xiang C, Haussener S, et al. An analysis of the optimal band gaps of light absorbers in integrated tandem photoelectrochemical water-splitting systems. Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 2984-93p.

Hanna C, Nozik J. Solar conversion efficiency of photovoltaic and photoelectrolysis cells with carrier multiplication absorbers, J. Appl. Phys., 2006, 100, 074510p.

Laursen B, Kegnaes S, Dahl S, et al. Molybdenum sulfides-efficient and viable materials for electro - and photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen evolution. Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 5577-91p.

Seitz C, Chen Z, Forman J, et al. Modeling practical performance limits of photoelectrochemical water splitting based on the current state of materials research. Chem Sus Chem, 2014, 7, 1372-85p.

Archer D, Bolton R. Requirements for ideal performance of photochemical and photovoltaic solar energy converters. J. Phys. Chem., 1990, 94, 8028-36.

Haussener S, Hu S, Xiang C, et al. Simulations of the irradiation and temperature dependence of the efficiency of tandem photoelectrochemical water-splitting systems. Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 3605-18p.

Warren, Emily L, Boettcher, et al. Photoelectrochemical water splitting: silicon photocathodes for hydrogen evolution. In: Solar hydrogen and nanotechnology V. Proceedings of SPIE. 2010, 7770-77701F, doi: 10.1117/12.860994.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Alternate Energy Sources and Technologies