Since the discovery of photocatalysis by Japanese scientist Akira Fujishima in 1972, photocatalysis has had a fifty-year history. In recent years, photocatalysis research has been gradually shifting from laboratory-based basic research towards industrial development. This transition has led to upgrades in reaction equipment, transforming simple laboratory photocatalytic systems into large-scale outdoor setups that can be exposed to direct sunlight.
The "Hydrogen Farm Project (HFP)" was introduced in an article published in the journal "Angew" by a team led by Chinese Academy of Sciences Academician and Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics researcher Li Can. The "Hydrogen Farm Project" employs BiVO₄ crystals as water oxidation photocatalysts to achieve HFP for solar energy storage and hydrogen production. The project has achieved STC (Solar-to-Chemical) greater than 1.9% and STH (Solar-to-Hydrogen) greater than 1.8%. This approach, which is similar to the process of large-scale crop cultivation followed by centralized harvesting, has led the team to name it the "Hydrogen Farm Project."
Perfectlight Technology Direct Solar Array Flat Plate Photocatalytic Reaction System
Perfectlight Technology, in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and the team led by Academician Li Can, has introduced the PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment. This allows for large-scale industrial verification of photocatalysts synthesized in the laboratory under direct sunlight. Compared to traditional kettle-type reactors, flat-plate reactors have advantages such as a larger light-receiving area, higher uniformity of catalyst illumination, higher mass transfer efficiency between reactants and catalysts, and reduced scale-up effects, making them the preferred choice for the transition of photocatalytic reaction systems to outdoor applications.
To further promote the large-scale application of flat-plate reactors, Perfectlight Technology's PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment has been finely divided in terms of application scenarios.
PLR-SPRL Laboratory-Scale Flat-Plate Photocatalytic Reaction Equipment is compact and suitable for initial experimentation and exploration of experimental conditions, primarily used for the initial exploration of photocatalytic reactions, including optimizing catalyst loading, flow rates, and reactor material selection.
PLR-SPRF Pilot-Scale Flat-Plate Photocatalytic Reaction Equipment is larger in size and suitable for mid-term outdoor feasibility verification. It is mainly used for verification after confirming reaction conditions in the initial stages of photocatalytic reactions and outdoor experimentation. This includes optimizing reactor materials, heat transfer, mass transfer efficiency, and large-area catalyst loading processes.
PLR-SPRG Mass Production-Scale Flat-Plate Photocatalytic Reaction Equipment allows reactors to be connected in series or parallel in an array configuration, enabling large-scale production in the later stages. It is mainly used for the large-scale production of photocatalytic reactions.
The PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment has a series of features and advantages in terms of catalyst fixation, turbulence design, bed layer design, pipeline design, reactor structure, and more. It is suitable for photocatalytic reaction research and industrial production.
1. High Light Efficiency and Uniformity
Unlike traditional kettle-type reactors, the PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment has a flat structure, allowing catalysts to be evenly dispersed within the plate reactor. During the reaction, the catalyst's exposure to light is larger, consistent with the light source, and unobstructed, resulting in higher light efficiency and uniformity. This can enhance the rate of light reactions while reducing side reactions due to localized rapid reactions.
2. Efficient Mass Transfer and Circulation Efficiency
The PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment considers the size and edge structure of the reactor and designs a turbulence layer inside the reactor. This enables rapid and uniform mixing of reactants in the reactor, reducing the dead volume in the reactor and improving mass transfer efficiency. It is conducive to increasing the rate of photocatalytic reactions while reducing side reactions caused by local product accumulation.
The bed layer design of PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment maintains a thin-layer liquid phase structure, significantly increasing the contact area between catalysts and reactants to ensure full contact and effective reaction. To avoid issues such as excessive thinning of the bed layer, leading to high resistance and system pressure, the equipment matches the optimal catalyst bed layer and fluid layer heights through simulation, while using a more reasonable pipeline layout and connection method to ensure high system circulation efficiency and stability.
3. Excellent Air Tightness and Stability
The PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment uses long-life, corrosion-resistant, high-temperature-resistant sealing gaskets to ensure good airtightness. This ensures that there are no leaks during the reaction, ensuring the accuracy and stability of experiments.
For pressure design, to extend the service life of flat plates, the PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment undergoes corresponding pressure-resistant structural design to guarantee equipment stability and safety.
Figure 1. Flat-Plate Reactor Pressure Resistance Simulation
4. Real-Time Monitoring of Multiple Data
The PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment is also equipped with pH measurement functionality, enabling real-time monitoring of the acidity or alkalinity of the reaction system to adjust reaction conditions and optimize results. Additionally, it can include monitoring modules for temperature, pressure, environmental humidity, oxidation-reduction potential, solar radiation, and ultraviolet radiation data.
Furthermore, the PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment incorporates multiple patented technologies, including a unique quick-disconnect design (Patent No.: 202220428290.X), making the equipment easy to maintain and clean. This enhances operational convenience and experimental efficiency.
Figure 2. Flat-Plate Reactor Quick-Disconnection Structure Schematic
5. Flexible Customization
To adapt to different reaction systems, the PLR-SPR series flat-plate photocatalytic reaction equipment offers flexible customization options. This includes personalized customization of various parameters, such as reactor and pipeline specifications, materials, flow rates, catalyst bed layer height, liquid layer height, heat transfer systems, gas-liquid separation, and data monitoring, tailored to provide the optimal flat-plate reactor for different photocatalytic reaction systems.
|PLR-SPR Series Flat-Plate Photocatalytic Reaction Equipment
|PLR-SPRG Mass Production-Scale
|10×10 cm ², optional 5×5, 15×15, 20×20, 25×25 cm ²
|0.1 m ², optional 0.25, 0.5 m ²
|0.5 m ², optional 5 m ², 10 m ²
|PU tube, PTFE tube, stainless steel tube, PPR tube
|Stainless steel tube
|Stainless steel tube
|Desktop 2m ²
|Ground 5~10m ²
|Ground 10~100m ²
|Photocatalysis: Photocatalytic water splitting, liquid sunlight, photocatalytic wastewater degradation
Photoelectrocatalysis: Photovoltaic photoelectrolysis of water