Waste disposal leads to environmental pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and a loss of chemical and energy-rich resources. Photoreforming is a sunlight-driven technology that recaptures the value in waste while simultaneously contributing to renewable energy production by transforming biomass, food and plastic waste into hydrogen. However, our current photoreforming process relies on corrosive acids or bases in order to solubilise waste and enhance hydrogen generation, which raises sustainability and economic concerns. In the proposed SolReGen project, we will couple our patented photoreforming process with a benign enzymatic waste pre-treatment in order to enhance its commercialisation potential. This will be achieved through four key objectives: (i) optimisation of an enzyme immobilisation strategy for facile recycling and low-cost deployment, (ii) integration of enzymatic pre-treatment with photoreforming, (iii) scaling of the overall system to one square meter under rooftop sunlight, and (iv) development of a sustainable business model for commercialisation. By achieving these innovations and patenting where necessary, photoreforming will become a hybrid technology for waste management and renewable energy production that is faster, less expensive, more environmentally-friendly, and increasingly desirable to commercial partners.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/waste management
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/renewable energy
- /social sciences/economics and business/economics/sustainable economy
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call