A Photoelectrochemical Model of Proton Exchange Water Electrolysis for Hydrogen Production

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A photoelectrochemical model for hydrogen production from water electrolysis using proton exchange membrane is proposed based on Butler-Volmer kinetics for electrodes and transport resistance in the polymer electrolyte. An equivalent electrical circuit analogy is proposed for the sequential kinetic and transport resistances. The model provides a relation between the applied terminal voltage of electrolysis cell and the current density in terms of Nernst potential, exchange current densities, and conductivity of polymer electrolyte. Effects of temperature on the voltage, power supply, and hydrogen production are examined with the developed model. Increasing temperature will reduce the required power supply and increase the hydrogen production. An increase of about 11% is achieved by varying the temperature from 30°C to 80°C. The required power supply decreases as the illumination intensity becomes greater. The power supply due to the cathode overpotential does not change too much with the illumination intensity. Effects of the illumination intensity can be observed as the current density is relatively small for the examined illumination intensities.


Energy consumption; Hydrogen as fuel; Proton exchange membrane fuel cells; Water – Electrolysis


Chemical Engineering | Engineering | Heat Transfer, Combustion | Mechanical Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy


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