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Molecular Catalysts Made of Earth-Abundant Elements for Energy and Sustainability

Objective

Energy and sustainability are among the biggest challenges humanity faces this century. Catalysis is an indispensable component for many potential solutions, and fundamental research in catalysis is as urgent as ever. Here, we propose to build up an interdisciplinary research program in molecular catalysis to address the challenges of energy and sustainability. There are two specific aims: (I) bio-inspired sulfur-rich metal complexes as efficient and practical electrocatalysts for hydrogen production and CO2 reduction; (II) well-defined Fe complexes of chelating pincer ligands for chemo- and stereoselective organic synthesis. An important feature of the proposed catalysts is that they are made of earth-abundant and readily available elements such as Fe, Co, Ni, S, N, etc.
Design and synthesis of catalysts are the starting point and a key aspect of this project. A major inspiration comes from nature, where metallo-enzymes use readily available metals for fuel production and challenging reactions. Our accumulated knowledge and experience in spectroscopy, electrochemistry, reaction chemistry, mechanism, and catalysis will enable us to thoroughly study the synthetic catalysts and their applications towards the research targets. Furthermore, we will explore research territories such as electrode modification and fabrication, catalyst immobilization and attachment, and asymmetric catalysis.
The proposed research should not only result in new insights and knowledge in catalysis that are relevant to energy and sustainability, but also produce functional, scalable, and economically feasible catalysts for fuel production and organic synthesis. The program can contribute to excellence in European research.

Principal Investigator

Xile Hu (Prof.)

Host institution

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE

Address

Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne

Switzerland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 475 712

Principal Investigator

Xile Hu (Prof.)

Administrative Contact

Caroline Vandevyver (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

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ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 1 475 712

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 257096

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2011

  • End date

    31 December 2015

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 475 712

  • EU contribution

    € 1 475 712

Hosted by:

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE

Switzerland