Funded under the New and Emerging Science and Technology (NEST) priority of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), SOLAR-H brings together world-leading laboratories to carry out integrated, basic research on the common goal of hydrogen production from renewable resources. In the SOLAR-H programme, experts from five EU countries and Switzerland, work towards this goal in research fields ranging from genetics and molecular biology to biophysics and organo-metallic and physical chemistry.
The vision is to develop novel, as yet unproven or even non-existing routes for H2 production from solar energy and water. In a unique effort, this project integrates, for the first time, two frontline topics - artificial photosynthesis in man-made chemical systems, and photo-biological H2 production using living organisms. Hydrogen production by these methods is still a long way off, but it has a vast potential and is of utmost importance for the energy-dependent European economy.
Goals for research on natural photosynthesis and photobiological hydrogen production:
(1) Demonstration of functional H2 producing bioreactors using the first deliberately improved green algae or cyanobacteria.
(2) Improving our molecular understanding of the natural processes aiming towards a sustainable production of H2 in cyanobacteria or green algae.
Goals for research on artificial photosynthesis and artificial photo-hydrogen production:
(1) Synthesis of the first bio-mimetic manganese complexes linked to ruthenium able to perform photochemical water splitting, mimicking the water oxidation process in natural photosynthesis.
(2) Synthesis of the first bio-mimetic iron compounds able to catalytically produce H2 driven by light energy, mimicking natural hydrogenases.
Information brochure on SOLAR-H from the european commission
The EU NEST webpage
Some pictures first scientific discussion meeting can be found here.
For further information, contact
Prof. Stenbjörn Styring, Molecular Biomimetics
S-752 36 Uppsala
Tel: +46 18 471 6580
Fax: +46 18 471 2826