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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

New photocatalysts based on halogenated hybrid perovskites to obtain solar fuels using CO2

Lead Researcher:
Pedro Atienzar Corvillo

Research Centre:
Instituto de Tecnología Química. CSIC-Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.


Pedro Atienzar CorvilloThe purpose of this project is the preparation of new micro mesoporous photocatalysts based on the structure of halogenated hybrid perovskite and use them for the photoreduction of CO2 to obtain fuels.

Considering the high demand and need for energy, together with the high costs of oil and its derivates, it is necessary to search for new sources of energy that are also environmentally friendly and if possible are inexhaustible. And also, if possible, for them to be accessible for any country, irrespective of its degree of development.

The idea of obtaining fuels from the sun is based on generating chemical compounds that can subsequently be transformed by freeing their energy. It can therefore be said that reducing CO2 in fuels is valuable, given that it not only contributes to the carbon cycle but also may minimise the effects of climate change

The photoreduction reaction of CO2 normally takes place in two stages: one of oxidisation, where water oxidises to O2, and another reduction phase in which CO2 is reduced to methane and other reactions products such as methanol and hydrogen.

Recently, a new family of materials has been found to be of great interest. These are semiconducting materials with a perovskite structure. In the field of solar cells this type of material achieved efficiencies of around 20% in2014. The outstanding properties of these materials include their high optical density, absorption in the region of sunlight, the efficient generation of carriers, suitable energy levels and long diffusion distances. This indicates that these materials have great potential in the field of heterogeneous photocatalysts used for the photoreduction of CO2.

Pedro Atienzar Corvillo

Graduate in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in 2002. Doctorate in Chemistry from the Instituto de Tecnología Química (UPV-CSIC) in 2007, under the supervision of Professor Hermenegildo García. His doctoral thesis examined the synthesis and photophysical properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes. He then undertook a two-year visit to Imperial College, London, under the supervision of Professors Jenny Nelson and James Durrant, where he undertook a research project with the aim of resolving the main problems with hybrid solar cells. Once he had completed his postdoctoral visit, he joined the Instituto de Tecnología Química to work in investigating new nanomaterials applied to the field of renewable energies. He has been awarded several research contracts, such as JaeDoc (CSIC), Juan de la Cierva (Ministry of Science and Innovation) and recently a Ramón y Cajal contract. He is the co-author of approximately 50 articles in international journals, and is also the co-author of 6 patents, three of which are with companies, and one as the sole inventor.

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