Design and CFD modelling of the anodic chamber of a continuous PhotoFuelCell reactor for water treatment

Yi Wen Phuan, Harun Mohamed Ismail, Sergi Garcia-Segura, Meng Nan Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A continuous PhotoFuelCell (PFC) reactor was proposed, designed and modelled using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The important PFC reactor parameters such as hydrodynamics, radiation field and surface kinetics were modelled using the CFD model in order to simulate the events within the PFC reactor. Additionally, the formulated CFD model was used to predict the performance of the anodic chamber of PFC reactor by varying the inlet, outlet and photoanode positions prior to selecting the optimum design for real physical PFC reactor fabrication. The effect of variation in flow distribution over a wide range of Reynolds (Re) numbers, 200 < Re < 8000 was also studied. Results showed that the performance of anodic chamber was dependent on the benzoic acid concentration, light irradiance reaching the photoanode surface, reactor configuration and hydrodynamics condition. It was also found that the PFC reactor design with the inlet position at the top, photoanode located opposite the inlet and with fluid flow under laminar regime attained the highest benzoic acid degradation rate. In conclusion, CFD simulations of PFC reactor can thus provide insights into the PFC reactor design and variation of hydrodynamics condition for effective water treatment in the anodic chamber and simultaneous solar hydrogen production in the cathodic chamber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-461
Number of pages13
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational fluid dynamic (CFD)
  • Degradation
  • Hydrodynamics
  • PhotoFuelCell
  • Radiation field
  • Surface kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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