Artificial photosynthesis: the chemistry behind sustainable energetic solutions

The Project

We would like to make students aware of how chemistry plays a critical role in the search for new energy solutions by providing sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. The production of hydrogen from water is one of the most promising opportunities for a clean and sustainable energy production. The students participating in this project will see the whole process of obtaining hydrogen from water by building their own water-splitting device. To this end, they will learn how to synthetize four inorganic compounds, build complete electrodes, measure different parameters of the electrodes and its efficiency, use the electrodes to obtain hydrogen from water, and investigate different catalyst materials along with their deposition solutions and conditions.

During the project, different electrodes will be tested in the water oxidation experiment and the students will draw their own conclusions. They will be required to deliver a report describing the procedure for evaluating the activity, stability and electrochemically active surface area for heterogeneous catalysts under standard conditions. At the end of the project, students will fully understand the process of water oxidation, redox reactions and catalytic reactions. They will also get expertise in performing laboratory tasks and in looking for information and references for the synthesis and characterization of catalysts. Students will get familiar with scientific articles, so they can improve and deepen their knowledge in chemistry.

Matching profiles

Chemistry, physics, engineering

Required materials

Lab coat, laptop

Coordinator of the project
Laia Pellejà

Laia Pellejà

  • Degree in Chemistry.
  • PhD by University Rovira and Virgili.
  • Researcher ICIQ’s scientific outreach programme manager.
  • Scientific interest in molecular photovoltaic devices and polyurethane.
Associated researchers
Luís Lanzetta

Luís Lanzetta

  • Degree in Chemistry by University of Barcelona (UB).
  • PhD student at Imperial College in London under Dr. Saif Haque’s supervision.
  • Member of the 1st edition of the Youth & Science Programme of the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation.
  • Awarded with Fundación Iberdrola Scholarship to study a MSc in Nanomaterials at Imperial College - London, United Kingdom.
The center
ICIQ logo

The Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) started its research activities in 2014.