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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F060009/1
Title: Aerogel photocatalytic diodes for carbon dioxide reduction
Principal Investigator: Mills, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Johnson Matthey
Department: Pure and Applied Chemistry
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2008 Ends: 30 September 2009 Value (£): 167,530
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Energy - Conventional
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Jan 2008 Feasibility Studies for Energy Research II Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The project aims to produce efficient, inexpensive, visible light-absorbing, robust, high surface area, long-lasting, anion doped, titania photocatalytic monoliths for mediating the reduction of CO2 to methanol and/or methane, using high levels of CO2 and selective catalysts (such as Cu metal deposits) to ensure high efficiencies (> 10%) and the production of easily used fuels. The project will focus particularly on the generation methane and methanol by using nanoparticulate metals, on the CO2 side of the photocatalyst monolith, known to favour their production in the electrochemical reduction of CO2. These reduced forms of carbon fuels are of relevance to the fuel cell and natural gas industries. Demonstrators of the best of the monoliths will be constructed to help promote the technology to those working in the Energy industry, who, at the end of the study, will be encouraged to contribute to the next phase of the work, namely, the subsequent scale-up and advanced prototype development of the monolithic photocatalyst aerogel diode technology. The real novelty in the work is in the separation of the reduced carbon fuel/oxygen evolution events to the separate opposing sides of a robust, inorganic, inexpensive photocatalytic membrane, i.e. the aerogel photodiode / hence, minimising, if not eliminating the various efficiency-lowering recombination reactions. Each section of the proposal has its own unique aspect, including: the preparation of new photocatalyst materials in aerogel form and the utilisation of nanoparticulate metal catalysts. The project will produce significant underpinning science for the development of monolithic photocatalytic diodes and has the potential to offer a step change in efficiency for energy capture from the sun and also eliminate concerns over the greenhouse effect. The results and demonstration of the proposed novel technology will be of particular interest to many working in the Energy field, including academics and industry, especially those associated with fuel cell technology and/or solar energy to chemical fuel conversion.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk