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Kaneko M.,The Institute of Biophotochemonics Co. | Suzuki T.,Ibaraki University | Ueno H.,The Institute of Biophotochemonics Co. | Fujii Y.,The Institute of Biophotochemonics Co. | And 4 more authors.
Polymers for Advanced Technologies | Year: 2011

Mesoporous TiO2 as a nanostructured inorganic polymer thin film was applied for a wide range ammonia concentration analyzer in combination with an O2-reducing Pt cathode based on photocurrent generation from ammonia induced by UV-light irradiation. Various structured sensor units were fabricated comprised of a TiO2 photoanode, a Pt cathode, and an ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV-LED) light source, and the photocurrent behavior was investigated as a function of ammonia concentration in water under stirring. Among the sensor units fabricated, the Type 4 sensor for which both the electrode surfaces are located perpendicular to the stirring direction gave the best characteristics, which was interpreted by the effective supply of ammonia and O2 onto the electrode surfaces. It was successfully demonstrated that this new type ammonia concentration analyzer gives a linear correlation of photocurrents against logarithmic ammonia concentration in the wide range of five orders of magnitude from 1mM to nearly 10M. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Kaneko M.,The Institute of Biophotochemonics Co. | Suzuki S.,Ibaraki University | Ueno H.,The Institute of Biophotochemonics Co. | Ueno H.,Ibaraki University | And 2 more authors.
Electrochimica Acta | Year: 2010

Photoelectrochemical decomposition of bio-related compounds such as amino acids was investigated with a biophotochemical cell comprising a mesoporous TiO2 thin film photoanode and an O2-reducing cathode. It was concluded that a kind of Schottky junction formed at the surface of the TiO2 (called as liquid junction) induced the photodecomposition followed by generation of photocurrent/photovoltage. Complete photodecomposition was investigated by the CO2 formation yield. The photocurrent-photovoltage (J-V) characteristics of amino acids and other typical bio-related compounds were investigated, and the short circuit photocurrent (Jsc), open circuit photovoltage (Voc), and Fill factor (ff) were exhibited. Effect of pH on the photodecomposition of phenylalanine and cysteine were studied; for cysteine alkaline conditions gave a high efficiency, which was interpreted by the high electron-donating ability of the dissociated -S- group. The incident light-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) of cysteine was 25% at 350 nm. It was for the first time shown that organic acids gave high internal quantum efficiency (η′) over 8 (=800%) in the photodecomposition; for oxalic acid it was 9.3 (=930%) and for butyric acid 8.2. The alternating current impedance spectroscopy of glycine showed that the cell performance is determined by the chemical reactions at TiO2 or Pt electrodes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[TECHNICAL PROBLEM] The present invention relates to a method for highly efficiently decomposing and purifying biomass, organic/inorganic compounds, waste, waste fluids, and environmental pollutants, by harnessing a catalyst action without applying any light, and simultaneously generate electricity. [SOLUTION TO PROBLEM] In the invention, first provided a composite three-layered anode which has a constitution of conductive electrode base layer, porous semiconductor layer, and catalyst layer, and then immersed the composite anode in a liquid phase such as an aqueous solution or suspension that contains as the fuel at least one of or a mixture of biomass, biomass waste, and organic/inorganic compounds, and a counter cathode is disposed for oxygen reduction in the liquid phase, and oxygen is supplied into the liquid phase and thereby conducted the fuel cell reaction and the fuel is decomposed and electricity is generated without applying external energy.

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