Chemistry for Renewable Energies
CNR-ICCOM contributes with research activities dedicated to the development of the international Mission Innovation initiative, launched internationally within COP21, with the aim of promoting research and development and creating renewable energy technologies for carbon neutrality. These objectives were extended in 2021 to initiatives such as the European Union Green Deal and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), which support highly cost-intensive interventions for the development of renewable energy production, storage and conversion systems. and for energy saving.
The main activities include:
- Chemistry for the production of hydrogen
- Production of hydrogen from water electrolysis for integration with intermittent renewable energies based on low temperature alkaline technologies;
- Design and study of new carbon-based 2D and 3D materials (CNT, MWCNT) as catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), also applied to fuel cells;
- Electrochemical generation of hydrogen and chemicals through electrolysis with oxidation of biomass derivatives for the simultaneous, sustainable and circular production of hydrogen and chemicals (electrochemical reforming);
- Hydrogen production through homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic dehydrogenation of small organic and inorganic molecules;
- Conversion of solar radiation into hydrogen by photocatalysis for water splitting;
- Catalytic production of hydrogen and chemical compounds from reforming / steam reforming for the production of hydrogen and chemical compounds from renewable alcohols and biomethane.
- Development of innovative fuel cells
- Low temperature fuel cells based on alkaline membranes with high power density with limited or no impact on critical materials;
- Direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFC) with alkaline membrane with low or no content of noble metals.
- Development of advanced photovoltaic devices
- New advanced photovoltaic devices, based on the development of the chemistry of materials and production processes, with particular regard to dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and luminescent solar concentrations;
- Computational modeling studies, to develop dyes with light harvesting properties, understanding and optimization of processes;
- Modeling and development of materials including CRM-free, deposition of nanostructured layers, study of innovative dyes and electrochemical methods for analysis and validation;
- Applications in residential construction and electrification of greenhouses for the agri-food sector (agrivoltaic).
- Development of chemistry and technology for solar fuels
- Study of mechanisms and realization of devices that combine water and carbon dioxide in green fuels using renewable energy, mimicking photosynthesis;
- Low temperature conversion systems based on nanostructured catalysts, also suitable for co-electrolysis;
- Organic, metallorganic and hybrid systems for capturing sunlight (antenna systems) and semiconductor films for photoelectrochemical cells.
- Development of advanced systems for thermal storage
- Study of systems for thermal storage, both solar thermal at medium-low temperature and for thermal batteries in “power-to-heat” applications with ammonia salts or ionic liquids (LI), thanks to their high thermal capacity, high temperature decomposition, low melting point and relatively high density under typical operating conditions of thermal storage.