We are developing new materials for water splitting, with a particular interest in using electrochemical techniques to pursue mechanistic studies. The understanding of the intimate coupling between proton transfer and electron transfer has been at the center of our research for the past decade, and we are willing to use this knowledge in the field of water electrolysis for H2 and O2 evolution catalysts.
Valorization of Aqueous CO2
Synthetic fuel production from cheap and renewable sources is currently economically and environmentally a major challenge for our societies to face the current global energy crisis. The project is interested in recovering the CO2 dissolved in seawater as a building block for the production of synthetic fuels. The particular advantage of seawater is that the CO2 concentration is 125 times higher than in the atmosphere. By combining the electrolysis of seawater (to produce hydrogen) with the extraction of this CO2, we are be able to produce fuels of non-fossil origin, and in a system of floating islands powered by photovoltaic panels.
Lignin is the largest source of renewable aromatic functionalities on earth. Investigating environmentally benign processes for selective lignin depolymerization will be an essential piece of modern bio-refineries. Electrochemical synthesis is the ideal technology to enable this objective. Such processes can be run at room-temperature and atmospheric pressure while using renewable electricity as a driving force. Furthermore, using H2O as both hydrogen and oxygen donor has the potential to make lignin depolymerization economical and sustainable, which could encourage the commercial conversion of biomass into value-added aromatic products. This project aims at developing new electrochemical depolymerization pathways and study mechanistic pathways by the mean of cyclic voltammetry.