Molecular Solar Fuels

Molecular Solar Fuels

Hardback Rsc Energy and Environment

Edited by Thomas J. Wydrzynski, Edited by Warwick Hillier, Series edited by Laurie Peter, Series edited by Ferdi Schüth, Series edited by Julian C.R. Hunt, Series edited by Tim S. Zhao, Series edited by Heinz Frei, Contributions by Ali Aukauloo, Contributions by Jim Barber, Contributions by Gary Brudvig

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  • Publisher: Royal Society Of Chemistry
  • Format: Hardback | 553 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 34mm | 980g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 1849730342
  • ISBN 13: 9781849730341
  • Illustrations note: Colour figures are allowed in this book.
  • Sales rank: 1,859,232

Product description

World demand for energy is rapidly increasing and is projected to more than double by the year 2050. Finding sufficient supplies of clean energy for the future is one of the major scientific challenges of today. Sunlight accounts for the largest energy input into the earth's surface, providing more energy in one hour than all of the energy consumed by the entire planet in one year. Over more than 2 billion years, plants, algae and cyanobacteria have evolved the most efficient methods to utilize solar energy, by catalyzing the light-driven splitting of water into molecular oxygen, protons and electrons. If the released protons are captured and reduced to molecular hydrogen by a suitable hyrodrogenase enzyme, then a perfect fuel cycle can be achieved, since the combustion of hydrogen with oxygen produces only water. In the search for clean, energy-rich fuel sources, we can take advantage of the natural photosynthetic and hydrogenase systems by applying and adapting the energy conserving principles that Nature has evolved in these systems and use them to guide the development of synthetic photo- and reductive catalysts for solar energy utilization. The US Department of Energy Basic Sciences Workshops in 2005 on 'Solar Energy Utilization' and in 2007 on 'Catalysis for Energy' identified the development of solar fuels as a key, carbon-neutral, energy resource for the future and hydrogen is one such promising example. The energy released from the combustion of hydrogen with oxygen can be coupled to electrical current generation or the reduction of carbon compounds such as carbon dioxide. If hydrogen could be readily produced from water using solar energy, then an ideal fuel cycle would be possible. The main aim of the book is to present the latest knowledge and chemical prospects in developing hydrogen as a solar fuel. Using oxygenic photosynthesis and hydrogenase enzymes for bio-inspiration, this book presents the strategies for developing photocatalysts to produce a molecular solar fuel and is divided into five parts. The first part consists of two chapters which give an overall perspective of solar energy utilization and the role that synthetic photocatalysts can play in producing solar fuels. The next three parts summarize current knowledge with respect to the three steps in solar energy utilization: light capture, photochemical conversion, and energy storage in chemical bonds. Each aspect begins with a review of the natural system, emphasizing those biological features which optimize the efficiency of the reactions that it catalyzes. The chapters on the natural systems are then followed by chapters summarizing the latest developments in synthetic chemistry of photo- and reductive catalysts. Finally, the last part gives some future research goals that are important for the practical utilization of solar energy. The book is written by experts from various fields working on the biological and synthetic chemical side of molecular solar fuels to facilitate advancement in this area of research.

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Author information

Tom Wydrzynski is a Professor and Head of the Photobioenergetics Group at the ANU (Australian National University) School of Biology where he conducts research on natural and artificial photosynthesis. He is on the Editorial Boards of Photosynthesis Research and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics. Professor Wydrzynski received his BA in Biology from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and a PhD in Plant Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He subsequently held research posts at the Max Volmer Institute for Biophysical and Physical Chemistry in Berlin, the Standard Oil Company of Indiana (AMOCO Corporation) in Illinois, and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California. Associate Professor Hillier has authored over forty journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. He has also presented his work at a variety of international conferences. Warwick Hillier has a PhD from the ANU and has been a visiting scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, USA and a NIH Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Deptartment of Chemistry at Michigan State University. Warwick Hillier is currently an Associate Professor at the ANU (Australian National University) School of Biology. He works on natural and artificial photosynthesis using spectroscopy and molecular biology to study basic problems in electron and proton transfer reactions.

Back cover copy

The US Department of Energy Basic Sciences Workshops in 2005 on 'Solar Energy Utilization' and in 2007 on 'Catalysis for Energy' identified the development of solar fuels as a key, carbon-neutral, energy resource for the future. Hydrogen is a promising example as the harmless waste product, on combustion with oxygen, is water. The energy released can be coupled to electrical current generation or the reduction of carbon compounds such as carbon dioxide. If hydrogen could be readily produced from water using solar energy, then an ideal fuel cycle would be possible. The main aim of the book is to present the latest knowledge and chemical prospects in developing hydrogen as a solar fuel. Using oxygenic photosynthesis and hydrogenase enzymes for bio-inspiration, this book presents the strategies for developing photocatalysts to produce a molecular solar fuel. Topics covered include the molecular mechanisms for the capture of light, photochemical conversion to chemical potential, and the storage of energy in chemical bonds, both in the natural systems and the synthetic chemical systems. The book is written by experts from various fields working on the biological and synthetic chemical side of molecular solar fuels to facilitate advancement in this area of research.

Table of contents

Part I: Perspectives on Molecular Solar Fuels; Chapter 1: Solar Energy Utilization; Chapter 2: Engineering Low-Barrier Photocatalysts; Part II: The Capture of Solar Energy; Chapter 3: Bacteriorhodopsins - The Simplest Phototransducers; Chapter 4: Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Complexes - The Most Efficient Light Gatherers; Chapter 5: Synthetic Light-Harvesting Pigment Arrays; Part III: Photochemical Conversion of Solar Energy; Chapter 6: Natural Photosynthetic Reaction Centers - Charge Separation with High Quantum Yields; Chapter 7: Wired Reaction Centers; Chapter 8: Bioelectrodes; Chapter 9: Charge Stabilization in Polymer Films; Part IV: Storage of Solar Energy; Chapter 10: The Photosynthetic Water-Splitting Complex; Chapter 11: Biomimics of the Water-Splitting Active Site; Chapter 12: Biological H2 Generation; Chapter 13: Biomimics of the hydrogenase active site; Part V: Future Goals; Chapter 14: Photocatalysts that Split Water and Produce H2 and O2 Within the Same Molecular Assembly; Chapter 15: Light-driven water oxidation and CO2 reduction; Chapter 16: Synthetic Biology