Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.59, No.1, 137-145, 2020
Anion-Exchange Membrane Electrode Assembled Photoelectrochemical Cell with a Visible Light Responsive Photoanode for Simultaneously Treating Wastewater and Generating Electricity
In this work, an anion-exchange membrane electrode assembled photoelectrochemical cell is designed for simultaneously degrading organics and generating electricity. The proposed photoelectrochemical cell is formed by assembling a visible light-responsive photoanode and an air-breathing cathode with an anion-exchange membrane. Benefited from the intrinsic property of the anion-exchange membrane, the hydroxyl transport can be enhanced and the organics crossover can be reduced to improve the performance of the proposed photoelectrochemical cell. Experimental results show that increasing the electrolyte concentration and light intensity yields higher performance because of the more efficient capture and generation of photo-excited holes. Besides, the cell performance can also be enhanced with increasing ethanol concentration in the testing range, demonstrating the lowered ethanol crossover through the anion-exchange membrane and a mixed potential at the cathode. The obtained results are useful for not only the optimization of the photoelectrochemical cell design but also the promotion of its practical application.