Humic Acid Studies & Lake Water Studies – Varying Conditions

Humic acid is a cost-effective and green substance made of organic waste.  It does not have much use as is, but green chemistry research has gone into harnessing humic acid, since it is in such high abundance.  Humic acid has the potential to be used as a sacrificial electron donor instead of triethylamine (TEA) in our photocatalytic system.  So, I have been conducting experiments to utilize triethylamine in our test tubes.  I also performed experiments to measure the quenching of our catalyst with humic acid.  Unfortunately, no hydrogen was produced in our photocatalytic system when humic acid was incorporated instead of TEA.  I varied concentration of the humic acid in the test tube to no avail.  So, I took a trip to our dear Lake Matoaka to see if I could find lake water with a very small amount of humic acid that would hopefully act as a natural electron donor.  The rationale behind using lake water is accented by the fact that we have had success using lake water and TEA in our photocatalytic systems.  Unfortunately, the humic acid in the water was not effective.  The humic acid idea is tabled for now, but it is possible in the future that it will be incorporated into photocatalytic systems under different conditions in the future.