Photoelectrochemical Process of Producing Hydrogen Gas Energy from Brewery Wastewater
The major portion of the energy needs of the world are obtained from fossil fuels. However, the future of fossil fuel is beclouded with environmental threats and degradation, which has caused an adverse effect on human health. Therefore, seeking a non-polluting alternative energy source has become important and necessary. Hydrogen gas energy constitutes low-cost energy without any negative impact on the environment and human health. Furthermore, Hydrogen gas energy can replace fossil fuels based on its physical and chemical properties. This research aims to produce hydrogen gas via a photo-electrochemical process unit using brewery wastewater. The specific objective is to design and fabricate a new electrolyzer to produce hydrogen gas from brewery wastewater. A new fabricated photo-electrochemical electrolyzer of dimension 24 cm x 42 cm x 28 cm was designed with a 10-plate stainless-steel electrode. The electrolyzer was connected upwardly to a gas storage container, dc compressor, and a gas cylinder. The electrolyzer was connected to a 12 Volt 9 Amps battery, two-100W solar panels. A mixture of 8 liters of brewery wastewater and 160 grams of NaOH was charged into the electrolyzer, after which the electrolysis process commenced. The process was left for 5 days. Within these times, hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases were produced simultaneously and collected by the upward method. The produced gases were compressed by high pressured gas cylinders respectively using a compressor of 350 bars. Voltage and current supplied by solar panels to the electrolyzer were monitored. The maximum and minimum voltage and current readings were ranged between 3.63 V – 13.60 V and 1.83 A -7.81A, respectively. This result revealed that high voltage and near-constant amperage readings would produce more hydrogen gas than low voltage readings. The weight of hydrogen produced after 5 days of observations was 2.01kg. This study demonstrated that hydrogen gas energy could be produced from locally made non-polluting devices, turning brewery wastewater into a useful form of energy and creating a carbon-free environment.
Keywords: Energy Sustainability, Photo-Electrolytic Process, Brewery Wastewater, Hydrogen Generation, Carbon Neutrality