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Research Seminar of Prof. Junwang Tang from University College London(UCL)

Research Seminar of Prof. Junwang Tang from University College London(UCL)

Lecture Time: 09:30 on 30th July, 2016

Lecture Room: C501 of National Science Park

Lecture Title: Solar Drive Water Splitting and CO2 Conversion

Junwang Tang

Director of UCL Materials Hub, Reader in Energy and FRSC

Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, UK



Solar energy has the potential to meet a significant fraction, if not all, of the increasing global energy demands. Among the approaches of solar energy conversion and storage, water splitting to renewable hydrogen and CO2 photoreduction by sunlight have been attracting more and more attention over the last ten years after a long-term silence. Solar irradiance is diffuse and intermittent, thus solar energy utilisation requires economically viable conversion technologies to be both efficient and low cost.
An efficient photocatalyst for solar to fuel synthesis is the key of the technology but remains a large challenge, involving Material Science, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics. Recently we preliminarily illustrated the key factors dominating solar energy conversion efficiency in the solar driven water splitting.1 Stimulated by these outcomes, we further developed novel material strategies for solar driven hydrogen synthesis and CO2 reduction. In this lecture, I will present the recent results obtained in my group including the facets controlled Ag3PO4 which shows the highest activity for water photooxidation reaction under visible light.2 On the other hand, highly polymerised C3N4 demonstrates an extremely high H2 production rate from water, leading to a 26% quantum efficiency,3 one order of magnitude increase compared with the previous report.4 Furthermore pure water splitting for simultaneous H2 and O2 evolution in a suspensions system5 and PEC devices composed of 1-D double junction for a high solar to fuel conversion process will be discussed.6 In parallel a few junction structures for CO2 photoreduction to CO and methanol using water as the only reductant under visible light irradiation will be presented.7

1. Tang, J., Durrant, J. R., & Klug, D. R, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2008, 130(42), 13885-13891.

2. Martin, D., Umezawa, N., Chen, X., Ye, J., & Tang, J. Energy and Environmental Science. 2013, 6 (11), 3380 – 3386

3. Martin, D.J., Qiu, K., Shevlin, S. A, Handoko, A.D., Chen, X., Guo, Z,. Tang, J., Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, 2014, 53 (35), 9240-9245.
4. Wang, X., Maeda, K., Thomas, A.,Takanabe, K., Xin, G., Carlsson, J. M., Domen, K., Antonietti, M., Nature Materials 2008, 8, 76-80
5. Moniz, S. J. A., Zhu, J , Tang, J. Advanced Energy Materials. 2014, 4, 1301590
6. Martin, D.J., Reardon, P. J. T., Moniz, S. J. A., Tang, J., Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014, 136, 12568. Highlighted in Chemical & Engineer News on Sep. 10, 2014
7. An, X., Li, K., Tang, J. ChemSusChem, 2014, 4, 1086-1093.


Dr Junwang Tang is Director of UCL Materials Hub, Reader in Energy in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and a Fellow of the RSC. He received his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 2001. After that, he took a JSPS fellow in Japan and senior research associate in Imperial College London. In 2009, he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London a lecturer.
He currently leads a research team including postdoctoral researchers, academic visitors and research students with financial support from UK EPSRC, Leverhulme, Royal Society, RAE, Newton Fund, EU PF7, Qatar and so on. His research interests encompass structure-controlled nanomaterials synthesis by a flow system powered by microwave irradiation, solar H2 synthesis from water, CO2 capture and conversion to a renewable fuel, photocatalytic environmental purification and microwave catalysis. Such studies are undertaken in parallel with the mechanistic understanding and device optimisation to address the renewable energy supply and environmental purification. His research has led to >100 papers with >6500 citations, 11 patents and many invited lectures over the last several years. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Advanced Chemical Engineering, an Associate Editor of Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, an Editor of the Frontiers in Energy Research, the guest Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Photoenergy, 2012 and Associate Editor of Chin J. Catalysis apart from sitting on the editorial board of other international journals. He is the Vice President of the Chinese Society of Chemical Science and Technology in the UK, Honorary Lecturer at Imperial College London, Adjunct Professor in Nanjing Tech University and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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