Research | Future methodologies in catalysis & solar fuels


The ultimate goal of this cluster is the generation of fuels using solar energy in sustainable processes that can replace fossil fuels. These kind of catalytic processes are the least mature of the three technological challenges we are trying to meet in our center. Several of the projects for the first period focus therefore on the more modest goal of breaking up water into its elemental components: oxygen and hydrogen using light. The challenge here is to achieve overall energy efficiencies clearly above 10% in a process that utilizes sustainable nano-materials preferentially structured by self-assembly and that also achieves separation of these gasses. Expertise in self-assembly and structuring at different length scales and the physics and chemistry that are related to gas production in the presence of a liquid will certainly be used from other clusters. In addition, other projects that aim to contribute to several of the other technological and scientific challenges, and that for instance also focus on making use of light in new ways, like nanoparticle based local temperature probes, are part of this cluster as well.

MCEC Members responsible for this cluster

Prof. Alfons van Blaaderen
Utrecht University
Prof. Emiel Hensen
Eindhoven University of Technology