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Projects. Life and Earth Sciences

Sunlight on nanocatalysts to lower global energy use, emissions and pollution

Lead Researcher: María González Béjar
Research Centre: Instituto de Ciencia Molecular. Universidad de Valencia.

Abstract: 

María González Béjar Nanoparticles (NP) can be used to convert solar light to thermal or chemical energy.

Undoubtedly, energy efficiency can be improved using solar light as renewable endless source. Nanocatalysts that absorb solar light are the perfect alternative to design new lower-temperature and less energy-demanding processes as compared to conventional ones.

First, the strategy would be to avoid thermal processes that consume half of the energy required nowadays. These thermal processes would be induced by solar light instead. That would cut down CO2 emissions and, therefore, it would help to decarbonize the economy and help to stop the Climate Change (which is better than "emit now, remove later"). As a consequence it would lower global energy use and pollution.

Secondly, the pollution that cannot be avoided would be reduced by photochemical approaches: advanced oxidation processes and positive photocatalysis. Remarkably, the use of nanoparticles for photocatalytic processes with thermal and synthetic purposes is still in its infancy and this approach could open up new ways to develop greener processes.


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