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Heterogeneous biomimetic catalysts based on functionalized organic-inorganic hybrid networks to produce hydrogen

18th national competition for scientific and technical research

Renewable energy: materials and processes

Senior Researcher : Mª Dolores Esquivel Merino

Research Centre or Institution : Instituto de Química Fina y Nanoquímica. Universidad de Córdoba.


Hydrogen (H2) is considered one of the most promising energy sources in the future due of its high energy capacity and its compatibility with the environment. The great potential of hydrogen as alternative energy source to the fossil fuels, makes necessary to develop new process and technologies to obtain it in a sustainable manner.

The main aim of this research project is to synthesize and characterize new biomimetic heterogeneous systems, from organic-inorganic hybrid arquitectures that have the property to generate hydrogen from water splitting by visible light. These fotocatalysts based on diiron dithiolate [2Fe2S] complexes, in conjunction with photosensitizing units, will be studied in visible light-driven hydrogen reactions.

During this last year of project, most of the proposed objectives in the research project have been achieved. On the one hand, we have synthesized monosilanic precursors containing active centers [2Fe2S]. These precursors have been anchored on the surface of different silica support through grafting and co-condensation processes. All materials have shown to be active in the photocatalytic hydrogen production, being PMO materials with active centers [2Fe2S] the most promising materials for hydrogen production.

On the other hand, different active centers [2Fe2S] have been formed on the surface of organic-inorganic hybrid materials containing thiol groups. The resultant materials have shown to be active in the photocatalytic decomposition of water under visible-light irradiation, in the presence of [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and ascorbic acid as photosensitizing and sacrificial agents, respectively.


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 6
Communications at national conferences 4
Communications at international conferences -


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