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Photocatalytic Cluster Complexes for Artificial Photosynthesis Applications (PCAP)
Start date: Nov 1, 2010, End date: Oct 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"A major problem that faces all of Europe and the rest of the world is energy, and being able to supply an ever-increasing population with the power they will need not only today but also in the future. Coupled to this problem is the environmental issue of global warming caused by increased carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. There is a clear link between energy needs and global warming- the more energy required the more fuel that needs to be burnt. The cycle has to be broken, and the only way forward is to tap into the unlimited energy supplied by the sun. Artificial photosynthesis is one solution, and a real viable way forward, if we can construct molecular machinery that mimics how plants split water into oxygen and concomitantly converts carbon dioxide to organic fuel. The difficulty of this mission should not be underestimated! Indeed, the task is far too large for one research group to tackle and necessitates the bringing together of numerous experts from diverse scientific backgrounds. With each research theme concentrating on specific aspects of artificial photosynthesis, the aspiration in the end will be to put together all the individual solved parts and create a true green plant mimic. The consortium for this project (Benniston-UK; Constantin-Moldova and Mangalagiu-Romania) has been explicitly assembled to focus on the metal-based catalysts needed, for example, the photochemical water splitting reaction. This completely new grouping has set out several challenges towards this common goal, focussing especially on: (i) new synthetic methods for manufacture of robust organic ligands, (ii) preparation of stable redox-active complexes and (III) stringent testing of catalysts in photocatalytic processes. The mutual exchange of researchers between Romanian and the UK with Moldova is a key way forward towards achieving the set-out goals."
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