Skip to main content

Soap Film based Artificial Photosynthesis

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SoFiA (Soap Film based Artificial Photosynthesis)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-12-31

We propose a radical breakthrough by developing economically viable solar fuel production technology, exploiting the surfactant self-assembly & proton transport properties of soap films. Producing renewable solar fuel by Artificial Photosynthesis (AP) is globally recognized as a promising solution to modern energy & environmental crisis with decisive social impacts, but there are critical roadblocks in technology development. SoFiA aims to initiate & consolidate a baseline of feasibility for soap film based AP technology and its future uses by establishing the essential proofs-of principle & foundational scientific underpinnings. We propose the concept of an economic artificial photosynthetic membrane in form of soap film with photo-catalytic functional surfaces. Our technology is made scalable by the design concept of a dynamic stream of regenerative soap bubbles capable of handling large volumes of gas, continuously flowing through a light exposed conduit. SoFiA bridges three mutually exclusive disciplines of surfactant science, renewable energy and fundamental science of water at nanoscale, supported by micro-systems engineering, and by actively engaging artists who are working with large soap film installations. Our long-term vision is to decisively alter Europe’s position in the world economic map as the leading green energy producer. Developed technology will be jointly exploited by European energy and detergent industries, kick-starting new ventures & production facilities. Major environmental impact is expected as SoFiA is devoted to transform the primary greenhouse gas (CO2) into fuel and industrial feedstock.
Work Performed in RP1 [ M1-M12] in Technical Work Packages - WP2, WP3, WP4.

WP2: Three types of R&D platforms for experiments on Soap films have been designed fabricated and consolidated. Modeling of photocateletic soap film has been initiated. Details have been delivered as report.
WP3: Molecules synthesized in WP4 has been characterised for surfactant properties and spectroscopic studies have been initiated. Work done has been timely reported through deliverables.
WP4: Ruthinium based and earth abundant metal based Generation-I photocatalytic molecules have been syntheiszed and characterized successfully for Artificial photosynthesis in liposome systems and on a Langmuir monolayer. Spectroscopic work has been initiated on the molecules under the perview of WP4 tasks. Work done has been timely reported through deliverables.
Progress beyond the state of the art has been initiated in all technical workpackages and is expected to be consolidated by RP2.
Project Logo including project name and core concept of renewable solar fuels using soap bubbles.