The second Solar2Chem workshop was organised by the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces on the 4th and 5th of May 2021.
We have been smoothly introduced to the world of light-driven reactions by Dr. Aleksandr Savateev, from the hosting institute, with a very useful and practical workshop in “Semiconductor Organic Photocatalysis”. This lecture gave us all the tools to understand the challenges in the preparation of organic semiconductors and their uses. We learned about the “Identification of best candidates, synthetic methods to prepare carbon nitride derivatives” thanks to Dr. Yevheniia Markushyna of MPIKG. This topic was also included in the talk of Dr. Paolo Giusto (MPIKG) on the “Thin film methods for photonics and beyond”. Moreover, we learned the uses of such materials, e.g., Dr. Erwin Reisner (UCAM) showed us the “Solar reforming of solid waste to produce clean fuels” where graphene-type materials are used to recycle not-recyclable plastics! Among other uses, Prof. Antoni Llobet (ICIQ) taught us the “State of the art in oxidation catalysis, focusing on light-driven reactions”. We had also an “Overview on current particulate sheets for solar chemicals production” by Prof. Kazunari Domen of University of Tokyo, whose work on scale-up studies of photo-electrochemical water splitting is more than preliminary!
However, science was not the only content of the workshop: Andi Jarvis (Eximo Marketing) explained the tools and techniques for early prototyping and product commercialization. These talks were further supported by Dr. Jelena Stojadinovic (Membrasenz GmbH) who shared with us her experience about setting up and developing a start-up. Talking about experience, we had an interesting talk about the “Evolution of hydrogen value chains and how can this be applied to solar chemicals” given by Ian Williamson with his 20 years of experience in the Hydrogen field and currently HyEnergy Managing Director, who showed the opportunities we can reach with hydrogen as fuel of the future! To conclude, a practical lecture by Peter Ellis, Technology Director of Green Hydrogen within Johnson Matthey, about “Pitching our ideas in a clear and understandable way”.
Overall, it was a very diverse and inspiring project workshop, we are looking forward to the next event in November, led by the Technical University of Denmark.