Faculty Advisor

Deskins, N Aaron

Project Center

Shanghai, China


Photocatalytic fuel cells use light as a catalyst to degrade organic molecules in wastewater, while simultaneously producing electricity. The goal of this project was to increase the efficiency of the photoanode by optimizing the fabrication process of a bismuth-doped electrode through process changes such as, deposition method, layers of bismuth, photo-deposition of cobalt, and the ZnO nanotubes reaction time. The optimized fabrication process comprised of a 3-hour ZnO nanotubes reaction time, 6 layers of bismuth using the spin coating technique at 2000 RPM for 35 seconds, and then depositing cobalt. 6 layers of bismuth doping increased current density output by a factor of 11.3, form 0.129 mA/cm2 to 1.46 mA/cm2. Bismuth proved to be an effective doping chemical with a promising future.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2014


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering