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Catalyst-functionalized polymeric microreactors for the production of solar fuels and chemicals


Access to affordable and clean energy as well as decrease CO2 emissions have been identified among the top objectives for a sustainable development by the United Nations. Therefore, the sustainable synthesis of fuels and chemicals using sunlight as driving force and simple readily available feedstock such as H2O and waste CO2 provides a feasible pathway to mitigate increasing CO2 emissions and transitioning toward a greener chemical industry and a circular economy. The development of robust and efficient photocatalytic platforms based on Earth-abundant elements is key to guarantee a universal and unlimited energy supply.

Our research group is working in the development of photocatalytic polymeric microphotoreactos to compartmentalize chemical reactivity. Our goal is to use these systems to drive the electrons from the oxidation of water to the reduction of CO2-to-Carbon-based fuels and chemicals in aqueous media using solar energy as driving force. This approach allows for the separation of oxidation and reduction reactions, and thus, avoiding cross-reactivity. Our approach lies at the interface of synthesis, inorganic chemistry, heterogeneous (photo)catalysis, interfaces, supramolecular chemistry and photochemistry and will unveil new horizons in the field of artificial photosynthesis to tackle global social, industrial and academic challenges.

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