Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production Prototype

EPA Grant Number: SU831892
Title: Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production Prototype
Investigators: Roper, D. Keith , Trujillo, Edward
Current Investigators: Roper, D. Keith , Ambrosek, James , Archer, David , Baeder, Jill , Bullis, Connie , Charles, Spencer , Chatwin, William , Chavez, Gabe , Church, Al , Corbett, Julia , Court, Jessica , Dehaven, Pat , Dishong, Emily , Drechsel, Jameson , Engar, Alex , Excell, Ken , Forster, Craig , Garrott, Luke , Grimm, Brandon , Hacker, Jamie , Henriksen, Tara , Holbrook, Stan , Kedrowicz, April , Knowles, Richard , Korte, Matt , Lane, Bethany , Martin, Karli , Montague, Fred , Moreno, Josh , Palauni, Ezekeial , Peterson, Katherine , Redd, Amy , Rexhepa, Megi , Schmidt, Daniel , Sherman, Todd , Stowers, Kara , Stubbs, Dan , Sudweeks, Trina , Sullivan, Katie , Trujillo, Edward , Tuckett, Marge , Villacorta, Kelly , Welch, Marshall , Wiser, Jeanette , Wolfsen, Amy , Wood, Jared
Institution: University of Utah
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2004 through May 30, 2005
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Most hydrogen gas is currently produced from non-sustainable sources by a process that emits greenhouse gas byproducts that impact the global climate.


Senior chemical engineering students in an interdisciplinary sustainability program at the University of Utah will construct a working prototype of a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) that uses solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen in Phase I. The technical performance of this sustainable method that produces hydrogen without greenhouse gas byproducts will be evaluated by the students who assemble it. In Phase II, a 3-L/min photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation process based on the prototype will be constructed. It will produce hydrogen for laboratory gas chromatography applications and for fuel cells that are portable sources of energy for sustainable vehicles to showcase the role of hydrogen engineering in a sustainable economy in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. University of Utah students from departments of Biology, Chemical Engineering, Communications and Geology & Geophysics will team with charter public high school students from the Academy of Math, Science and Engineering to create a working vision for a prosperous, environmentally responsible, sustainable economy. In a service-learning seminar coordinated by the Bennion Center, the students will extend that vision to our Salt Lake Metropolitan community in partnership with existing organizations that have ties to the University. Cognitive learning will be assessed using pre- and post-seminar tests administered to students in the existing courses from which seminar participants are drawn. The service learning experience will be evaluated by assessing citizenship, reflection and interaction. Economic costs and benefits of photoelectrochemical hydrogen production will be determined by students participating in the interdisciplinary seminar.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 10 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

sustainable development, ecosystem, clean technologies, engineering., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Environmental Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, waste to fuel conversion, agricultural byproducts, animal waste, hydrogen fuels, photoelectrochemical hydrogen production, energy efficiency, energy technology, alternative energy source, renewable energy

Relevant Websites:

Deseret Morning News Exit
Hydrogen Sustainability Exit
Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report