Converting Solar Light into Chemical Energy

Group Picture 2018

Climate change and shortage of fossil fuels are highly relevant topics. The URPP "LightChEC" aims to use solar light, water and carbon dioxide as the sole sources for the sustainable production of fuels.

The main objectives of the URPP Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion are to discover and develop new molecules, materials and processes for the direct storage of solar light energy in chemical bonds.

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 create an architecture of catalysts and antennas to mimic 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.

The University Research Priority Program (URPP)LightChEC started in January 2013.