Converting Solar Light into Chemical Energy
The University Research Priority Program "LightChEC - Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion-" started in January 2013 with the ultimate aim to use solar light, water and carbon dioxide as the sole sources for the sustainable production of fuels.
Artificial photosynthesis is the working principle: water is split directly into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter representing a highly efficient carrier for energy storage and conversion into common liquid fuels, such as methanol and gasoline.
Researchers at the URPP aim at discovering and developing new molecules, materials and processes for the direct storage of solar light energy in chemical bonds therefore mimicking the natural photosynthesis model. The individual steps – light harvesting, oxidation and reduction of water – are combined into one single functional system.
The URPP Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion contributes to meeting the 21st century's demands for sustainable energy resources.