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European Solar-Fuel Initiative - Renewable Hydrogen from Sun and Water. Science Linking Molecular Biomimetics and Genetics

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Production of hydrogen from sunlight and water

At a time when fossil fuels are rapidly depleting and the climate changes are accelerating, it has become increasingly important to find sustainable alternatives. An EU-funded project aims at achieving renewable hydrogen (H2) production from environmentally friendly resources.

Energy

The SOLARH2 project is a research collaboration bringing together 12 world-leading European laboratories. The multidisciplinary team has expertise in molecular biology and biotechnology, as well as organo-metallic and physical chemistry. The team is designing synthetic compounds able to mimic biological molecules that can convert energy from the Sun into hydrogen fuel. They are also investigating the use of bacteria and algae in bioreactors to perform the same conversion. For living organisms, researchers are looking at the optimal conditions required for the hydrogen-generating reaction. Factors like oxygen supply and the amount of light need to be considered. Long-term, the project's goal is to exploit Earth's unlimited supply of water and solar energy instead of its limited supply of fossil fuels. This basic research into both biological and synthetic solutions will open the door for larger, more high-impact projects in the future.

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