Scientific Exchange and
Collaborative Research Across Disciplinary and Organizational Boundaries



fosters wide-ranging discussions on the breadth and depth of energy development, along with smart material development, device engineering, energy diagnostics, and energy efficiency modeling. HKICE continues bringing new perspectives and ideas to campus from places throughout the world.

Partner with us to accelerate the renewable energy transition through cross-disciplinary research, development, and deployment of various energy technologies.

JUN 2023 Session

Renewable Energy Driven Decentralized Clean Water Production from Unconventional Sources

9 JUN 2023 | 10:30 AM
Hong Kong Institute for Clean Energy
MMW 6400, 6/F, Mong Man-wai Building, CityU

WANG, Peng

Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Peng Wang is a faculty member at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He joined KAUST in Saudi Arabia in 2009 as a founding faculty member and was the chair of Environmental Science & Engineering program at KAUST from 2013 to 2017. Dr. Wang is the Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and was awarded The Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Water Award (3rd cycle) in 2023 and 9th Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) in 2020. Dr. Wang serves as an Executive Editor and Associate Editor of Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T). He is a member of Advisory Committee on Water Supplies at Hong Kong.

In this presentation, three processes will be introduced as our recent efforts to supplement freshwater production from unconventional sources and to enhance solar-energy conversion by water-based approaches. (1) The photovoltaic-membrane distillation (PV-MD) utilizes the waste heat of a PV panel to drive water distillation within a multistage MD design. The state-of-the-art PV-MD is able to produce freshwater at a record-breaking rate and cools PV panels at the same time. (2) There is plenty of water vapor constantly preserved in the earth’s atmosphere. Sorption-based atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) is emerging as an attractive way of producing fresh water. AWH has recently been extended to help cool PV panels, which led to a 19% increase in electricity production by the same PV panel at field tests. (3) As seawater desalination is booming in many parts of the world, proper disposal of the seawater desalination brine becomes a global challenge. A three-dimensional (3D) solar crystallizer design has been developed to physically separate light absorption and salt crystallization surfaces. Such a system is able to perform a continuous treatment of real Red Sea seawater desalination brine. 

Past Sessions

Solar Hydrogen Production and Its Challenges

Yan Hau NG
Hong Kong Institute of Clean Energy, CityU
School of Energy and Environment, CityU

Solar hydrogen production from photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical reactions employing photoactive semiconductors under visible light has been considered a potential alternative to make solar energy storable and transportable. Hydrogen generation from the photocatalytic splitting of water as well as photocatalytic conversion of CO2 into chemical fuels (e.g. methane and methanol) are two good examples of solar fuel production assisted by solar energy. These reactions have demonstrated the potential to simultaneously address the energy shortage and environmental issues by minimizing the usage of fossil fuels. A great number of photoactive semiconductors (be it oxide, nitride, sulphide or others) have attracted extensive attention due to their affordability, mostly non-toxic, and with considerable theoretical photocurrent density for fuel generation. The challenges in extending their capability in this application lie in several aspects, such as the extension of the solar spectrum absorption, the charges transportation, and the photo-stability of the materials. For example, TiO2 absorbs only UV wavelength,
Cu2O suffers from photocorrosion and many others experience significant charges recombination processes. The introduction of nanostructures or secondary components into the parental semiconductor is a potential way in tackling the above mentioned issues.

The main driving force for our research in School of Energy and Environment at CityU is to improve (if not
overcome) the above shortfalls by using several different electrochemical and chemical approaches. In
this talk, strategies in developing efficient oxide-based photocatalysts for the above-mentioned reactions
will be shared.

About the Speaker: Yun Hau NG is a professor at the School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. (Chemistry) from Osaka University in 2009. After a brief attachment at Prof. Prashant Kamat’s laboratory at University of Notre Dame, he moved to Australia and became a lecturer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2014. He joined CityU in 2018. He received a few recognitions in photocatalysis research, including Honda-FujishimaPrize (2013), Distinguished Lectureship Award from the Chemical Society of Japan (2018), APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) in Chile (2019), and Kataoka Lectureship Award from the Japanese Photochemistry Association (2021).

Boosting Urban Renewable Energy Access through Innovative Photovoltaic Technologies:
Current Developments and Future

Hin-Lap YIP
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, CityU
School of Energy and Environment, CityU
Hong Kong Institute of Clean Energy, CityU

The global push towards carbon neutrality has led governments worldwide, including Hong Kong, to prioritize deploying renewable solar energy as a central component of their climate action plans. This talk will provide an  overview of the current state of solar energy development, followed by a focused exploration of cutting-edge photovoltaic technologies that promise to revolutionize renewable energy access in urban environments.

In this talk, I will provide an overview of the progress in solar energy, highlighting the improvements in efficiency and affordability of conventional silicon-based solar panels, as well as the emergence of cutting-edge technologies such as perovskite and organic solar cells. We will discuss the potential of these next-generation solar cells-characterized by their printability, flexibility, transparency, and color-tunability-for widespread adoption in densely populated urban cities like Hong Kong.

These next-generation solar cells offer unique advantages over conventional solar PV technologies, particularly their ability to seamlessly integrate into the built environment as tinted solar windows, façades, or curtains. This enables them to generate substantial solar electricity in urban areas with limited land and rooftop space for conventional solar panel installations. Furthermore, I will address the challenges and opportunities in scaling up the deployment of these technologies, as well as the implications for policy and industry stakeholders in achieving a sustainable, low-carbon future.  

About the Speaker: Angus YIP, Hin-Lap joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and School of Energy and Environment (SEE) at the City University of Hong Kong as Professor in 2021, and he also serves as the associate director for Hong Kong Institute for Clean Energy (HKICE). He is a fellow of the Hong Kong Young Academy of Sciences. From 2013-2020, he was a Professor at the State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and Devices (SKLLMD) and the School of MSE at the South China University of Technology (SCUT). His research combines materials, interface, and device engineering to improve polymer and perovskite optoelectronic devices. He has published over 270 scientific papers with citations over 37000 and an H-index of 99. He was also honored as ESI “Highly Cited Researcher” consecutively from 2014-2022.

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