Solar-driven Chemistry 2 - Solar-driven Chemistry 2

Hybrid PhotoElectrodes for Selective Reduction of CO2 into Solar Fuels – HYPHE-C1

Submission summary

Solar driven chemistry for CO2 reduction to C1 compounds is the most direct route to sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. However, the application of molecular catalysts for solar to chemical energy conversion has not yet reached maturity even though we have access to molecular catalysts for efficient reduction of CO2 and high performance photoelectrodes for light-driven delivery of the required high energy electrons. If exploited appropriately, the combination of such molecular catalysts and photoelectrodes could offer sustainable solutions for carbon utilization and fossil-free energy generation. However, two major bottlenecks impair the applications of hybrid photoelectrodes: 1. Photocurrents are often far below those expected based on the intrinsic properties of the catalyst and of the photoelectrode because the interfacing with the semiconductor component affects the catalysts properties or is limited by slow interfacial charge transfer. 2. Selectivity in CO2-conversion is often affected by the local environment of the catalyst (local pH values, gradients in CO2 concentration, permittivity of the surrounding medium, potential gradients). The project HYPHE-C1 will address both bottlenecks. Our overarching goal is to concomitantly maximize the catalytic rates and the product selectivity, by integrating the catalyst on a photoelectrode by means of electron conducting matrices to ultimately achieve highly efficient light driven CO2 reduction to CO, formaldehyde and methanol, thus controlling the reduction process from 2 to 6 electrons.

Project coordination

Fabrice ODOBEL (Chimie et Interdisciplinarité, Synthèse, Analyse, Modélisation)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CEISAM Chimie et Interdisciplinarité, Synthèse, Analyse, Modélisation
LEM Laboratoire d'Electrochimie Moléculaire
TUM Technical University of Munich
UZH University of Zurich

Help of the ANR 822,168 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2023 - 36 Months

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