Molecular biofuels

High density energy storage

The conversion of solar energy into chemical energy is the reason for complex multicellular life on Earth. The photophysical reactions of photosynthesis serve as paradigms for artificial systems. The capture of sunlight in photosynthetic reactions at short (fs-ns) times is extremely efficient - and indeed sets benchmarks for all solar catalyst.

In this project we are seeking to develop solar based catalysts based on the natural systems to perform Artificial Photosynthesis. We will use these systems to store energy as a chemical bond. We call these products molecular biofuels and are the chemical products of water splitting: H2 and O2. Future demands on energy from humanity and the need for CO2 free fuels provide critical incentives for this type of research.

We are seeking to:

  • Design artificial Photoactive catalysts for splitting water into O2 and H2.
  • Utilise earth abundant metals for catalysis.
  • Engineer cyanobacteria to generate biofuel stocks or molecular biofuels directly.