Photovoltaic Electrocatalysis (PVE) for production of renewable fuels

Photovoltaic electrolysis (PVE) is a promising approach to produce renewable hydrogen (H2) for export from sunlight and water. The main obstacle to utilising photovoltaic electrolysis to produce H2 is the high cost and modest efficiency. The project aims to lower the cost of renewable hydrogen produced via PVE by improving the energy efficiency of transition metal-based alkaline water electrolysers and the overall solar to hydrogen (STH) conversion efficiency of PVE systems. This approach is anticipated to lead to the development of an integrated PVE system demonstrating an overall solar-to hydrogen conversion efficiency >30%.

PV-EC system with concentrated sunlight

Competitive Advantage:

  • Production of renewable fuels (e.g. H2, CO, ethanol) using cost-effective and active electrolysers powered by photovoltaic cells;
  • Electrodes are comprised of earth abundant elements without using any expensive noble metals;
  • Electrolysers can use natural seawater as the electrolyte to produce chlorine on the anode and hydrogen on the cathode


  • Enhanced Australian energy security by using infinite and diffusive solar energy;
  • Alleviate global warming by reducing the carbon footprint;
  • Off-grid fuel generation in remote strategic sites

 Capabilities and facilities:

  • Wide range of nanomaterials development techniques
  • State-of-the-art instrument for particle and material characterisation;
  • Several electrolysers for testing catalyst performance;
  • In-situ studies capability


  • Scientia Prof Rose Amal
  • Dr Xunyu Lu
  • Dr Rahman Daiyan
  • Dr Qingran Zhang
  • Dr Mark Keevers


Industry Collaborators:

  • Raygen Resources Pty Ltd


Highlighted publications:

  • Uncovering Atomic-Scale Stability and Reactivity in Engineered Zinc Oxide Electrocatalysts for Controllable Syngas Production, Advanced Energy Materials, 2020, 10(28), 2001381
  • Electronically Modified Atomic Sites Within a Multicomponent Co/Cu Composite for Efficient Oxygen Electroreduction, Advanced Energy Materials, 2021, 11(17), 2100303
  • Techno-economic analysis of Hydrogen electrolysis from Off-grid stand alone Photovoltaics incorporating uncertainty analysis, Cell Reports Physical Science, 2020, 1(10), 100209
  • Designing optimal integrated electricity supply configurations for renewable hydrogen generation in Australia, iScience, 2021, 24(6), 102539