Next Article in Journal
Multi-Layer Identification of Highly-Potent ABCA1 Up-Regulators Targeting LXRβ Using Multiple QSAR Modeling, Structural Similarity Analysis, and Molecular Docking
Previous Article in Journal
Effect of Thermoultrasound on the Antioxidant Compounds and Fatty Acid Profile of Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus spp.) Juice
Previous Article in Special Issue
Photoelectrochemical Behavior of Electrophoretically Deposited Hematite Thin Films Modified with Ti(IV)
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1638; doi:10.3390/molecules21121638

Water Will Be the Coal of the Future—The Untamed Dream of Jules Verne for a Solar Fuel

1
Faculty of Physics, Saint-Petersburg State University, Ulyanovskaya Str. 1, Petergof, Saint-Petersburg 198504, Russia
2
Laboratory of Photoactive Nanocomposite Materials, Saint-Petersburg State University, Ulyanovskaya Str. 1, Petergof, Saint-Petersburg 198504, Russia
3
Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Kashirskoe highway, 31, Moscow 115409, Russia
4
Department of Materials and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sophia University, 7-1 Kioicho, Chiyodaku, Tokyo 102-8554, Japan
5
PhotoGreen Laboratory, Dipartimento di Chimica, Universita di Pavia, Via Taramelli 12, Pavia 27100, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 10 October 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Water Splitting—the Untamed Dream)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1774 KB, uploaded 29 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

This article evokes the futuristic visions of two giants, one a writer, Jules Verne, who foresaw water as the coal of the future, and the other a scientist, Giacomo Ciamician, who foresaw the utilization of solar energy as an energy source with which to drive photochemical and photocatalytic reactions for the betterment of mankind. Specifically, we examine briefly the early work of the 1960s and 1970s on the photosplitting of free water and water adsorbed on solid supports, based mostly on metal oxides, from which both hydrogen and oxygen evolve in the expected stoichiometric ratio of 2 to 1. The two oil crises of the 1970s (1973 and 1979) spurred the interest of researchers from various disciplines (photochemistry, photo-catalysis and photoelectrochemistry) in search of a Holy Grail photocatalyst, process, or strategy to achieve efficient water splitting so as to provide an energy source alternative to fossil fuels. Some approaches to the photosplitting of water adsorbed on solid insulators (high bandgap materials; Ebg ≥ 5 eV) and semiconductor photocatalysts (metal oxides) are described from which we deduce that metal oxides with bandgap energies around 5 eV (e.g., ZrO2) are more promising materials to achieve significant water splitting on the basis of quantum yields than narrower bandgap photocatalysts (e.g., TiO2; Ebg ≈ 3.0–3.2 eV), which tend to be relatively inactive by comparison. Although proof of concept of the photosplitting of water has been demonstrated repeatedly in the last four decades, much remains to be done to find the Holy Grail photocatalyst and/or strategy to achieve significant yields of hydrogen. View Full-Text
Keywords: photosplitting of adsorbed water; solid supports; metal oxides; alkali halides; hydrogen evolution photosplitting of adsorbed water; solid supports; metal oxides; alkali halides; hydrogen evolution
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ryabchuk, V.K.; Kuznetsov, V.N.; Emeline, A.V.; Artem’ev, Y.M.; Kataeva, G.V.; Horikoshi, S.; Serpone, N. Water Will Be the Coal of the Future—The Untamed Dream of Jules Verne for a Solar Fuel. Molecules 2016, 21, 1638.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]

Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top