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Fully artificial photo-electrochemical device for low temperature hydrogen production

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 303435

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 May 2012

  • End date

    31 October 2015

Funded under:

FP7-JTI

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 594 580,50

  • EU contribution

    € 2 187 039,80

Coordinated by:

POLITECNICO DI TORINO

Italy

Objective

Leaves can split water into O2 and H2 at ambient conditions exploiting sun light. James Barber, one of the key players of ArtipHyction, elucidated Photosystem II (PSII), the enzyme that governs this process. In photosynthesis, H2 is used to reduce CO2 and give rise to the various organic compounds needed by the organisms or even oily compounds which can be used as fuels. However, a specific enzyme, hydrogenase, may lead to non-negligible H2 formation even within natural systems.
Building on the pioneering work performed in a FET project based on natural enzymes (www.solhydromics.org) and the convergence of the work of the physics, materials scientists, chemical engineers and chemists involved in the project, an artificial device will be developed to convert sun energy into H2 with close to 10% efficiency by water splitting at ambient temperature, including:
-) an electrode exposed to sunlight carrying a PSII-like chemical mimic deposited upon a suitable transparent electron-conductive porous electrode material (e.g. ITO, FTO)
-) a membrane enabling transport of protons via a pulsated thin water gap
-) an external wire for electron conduction between electrodes
-) a cathode carrying an hydrogenase-enzyme mimic over a porous electron-conducting support in order to recombine protons and electrons into pure molecular hydrogen at the opposite side of the membrane.
A tandem system of sensitizers will be developed at opposite sides of the membrane in order to capture light at different wavelengths so as to boost the electrons potential at the anode for water splitting purposes and to inject electrons at a sufficiently high potential for effective H2 evolution at the cathode. Along with this, the achievement of the highest transparence level of the membrane and the electrodes will be a clear focus of the R&D work.
A proof of concept prototype of about 100 W (3 g/h H2 equivalent) will be assembled and tested by the end of the project for a projected lifetime of >10,000 h.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

POLITECNICO DI TORINO

Address

Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24
10129 Torino

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 551 071,20

Administrative Contact

Guido Saracco (Prof.)

Participants (7)

HYSYTECH SRL

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 337 140

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

France

EU Contribution

€ 315 680

ETHNIKO KENTRO EREVNAS KAI TECHNOLOGIKIS ANAPTYXIS

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 177 949,60

SOLARONIX SA

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 295 784

L'UREDERRA, FUNDACION PARA EL DESARROLLO TECNOLOGICO Y SOCIAL

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 190 600

TECNOLOGIA NAVARRA DE NANOPRODUCTOS SL

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 92 551,80

PYROGENESIS SA

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 226 263,20

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 303435

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 May 2012

  • End date

    31 October 2015

Funded under:

FP7-JTI

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 594 580,50

  • EU contribution

    € 2 187 039,80

Coordinated by:

POLITECNICO DI TORINO

Italy