Selective Photo-reforming of organic waste for simultaneous production of H2 and valuable organic

Photo-reforming is a process that harnesses the redox ability of photocatalysts upon illumination, to simultaneously drive the reduction of H+ into hydrogen gas and oxidation of organic compounds. The less energetically demanding organic reforming is highly favorable when compared to the slow kinetics of oxygen evolution during water splitting, which negates the need for expensive and/or harmful hole scavengers. Photocatalyst modifications, such as doping, defect-engineering and surface functionalization, are a few promising strategies to enable the control of photooxidation pathways and the oxidation products. 


Competitive Advantage:

  • Simple one-pot photocatalytic conversion of organic waste into hydrogen and valuable organic products can be achieved under ambient condition.
  • Less energetically demanding when compared to photocatalytic water splitting
  • High selectivity towards valuable organic products ensure low or zero emission of CO2 green house gas. 


  • Competitive fuel production using waste to produce renewable hydrogen and valuable organics
  • Direct conversion of abundant sunlight into chemical energy
  • Alleviate global warming by reducing carbon footprint 

Successful applications:

  • Surface-engineered and functionalized photocatalysts for ethanol photo-reforming

Capabilities and Facilities

  • Access to state-of-art facilities for photocatalyst synthesis and characterisations
  • Access to various photocatalytic performance test reactors:
    • Automated online spiral reactor with high light exposure
    • Multichannel photocatalytic reactor for high-throughput testing
    • Large-scale photocatalytic tubular reactor.
Photocatalytic tubular reactor system_0


Holistic approach for selective photoreforming

Holistic approach for selective photoreforming

Highlighted publications:

  • Advancing photo-reforming of organics: highlights on photocatalyst and system designs for selective oxidation reactions, Energy & Environmental Science, 2021, issue 3, 14, 1140-1175. DOI: 10.1039/DOEE03116J


  • A/Prof Jason Scott
  • Dr Cui Ying Toe
  • Scientia Professor Rose Amal