Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/K021796/1
Title Solar fuels via engineering innovation
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 25%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 25%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 capture/separation) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr MM (Mercedes ) Maroto-Valer
No email address given
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 30 August 2013
End Date 31 July 2021
Duration 95 months
Total Grant Value £1,179,790
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Scotland
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr MM (Mercedes ) Maroto-Valer , School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Dr AF Lee , Chemistry, Cardiff University (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract The quest for sustainable resources to meet the demands of a rising global population is one of the main challenges for humanity this century, with global energy needs set to double by 2050. This is set against the backdrop of increasing CO2 emissions and associated climate change, and the ambitious target set out in the recent UK Fourth Carbon Budget of a 50% cut in CO2 emissions by 2025. Solar energy can be used to drive the conversion of CO2 into fuels via a process called photocatalytic reduction. The utilisation of CO2 as an alternative fuel represents an attractive strategy to address both the consumption of non-renewable fossil fuels and global warming, while offering sustainable, safe and useful carbon capture.Large-scale, economic photoconversion of CO2 into solar fuels represents a formidable scientific and technical challenge. Existing processes suffer low productivity due to a lack of appropriate reactor designs able to efficiently introduce light, reactants and a suitable photocatalyst into simultaneous contact, and to effect subsequent product separation and recycling of unreacted CO2. Recent progress in this arena has focused on the development of novel catalysts through advances in nanotechnology. Despite such breakthroughs in materials science, the engineering challenge of optimal CO2 photoreactor design needs a step change transformation to reach its crucial role in the overall process performance. Our vision is to engineer novel photoreactors that can achieve efficient hydrocarbon conversion and separation from CO2 for solar fuel production. This will be achieved via an integrated approach between chemical engineers and chemists to intensify the process of CO2 photoreduction through reactor innovation, and thus, provide alternative future energy options
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 09/10/12