Upscaling of a photocatalytic reactor for the photocatalytic overall water splitting using modified SrTiO3

Master thesis Jasper Klomp


Photocatalytic overall water splitting is considered as a promising alternative to produce hydrogen compared to electrolysis. Currently, a lot of research is performed on material selection, material development and reaction kinetics [1]. Within the PCS research group, recent research has been focussed on using Al- and Mg-modified SrTiO3 photocatalysts. This research showed amongst that the optimum in reaction rate for different catalysts is taking place at different particle concentration, which is considered to because of light attenuation [2].

The light propagation properties of slurry reactors play an important role in the design and evaluation of the performance of photocatalytic reactors. Research performed by a previous PCS master student shows that the light absorbance (attenuation) versus distance to the light source deviates from Beer-Lambert’s law. This effect is more explicit at higher particle concentrations.[3]


This master assignment will entirely focus on the upscaling of the current reaction system. At this moment, photocatalytic activity experiments are performed in a 25 mL slurry reactor. The objective will be to design a 1L photocatalytic reactor for the POWS using either or both Al- and Mg- modified SrTiO3. As two different types of modified SrTiO3 will be used in this research, it is of major importance to compare the different photocatalysts following a fair approach, as discussed by [4]. 


[1]         Hisatomi, T.; Kubota, J.; Domen, K. Recent advances in semiconductors for photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical water splitting. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014, 43 (22), 7520–7535 DOI: 10.1039/c3cs60378d.

[2]         Han, K. Photocatalytic Overall Water Splitting Using Modified SrTiO3; Enschede, 2018; pp 95–112; DOI: 10.3990/1.9789036546638.

[3]         Schut, L. The effect of particle dynamics on the optical properties and activity of photocatalytic slurries; 2014; p 13,25.

[4]         Qureshi, M.; Takanabe, K. Insights on Measuring and Reporting Heterogeneous Photocatalysis: Efficiency Definitions and Setup Examples. Chem. Mater. 2017, 29, 158–167 DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b02907.