The projects will contribute to the development of new technologies to address current global challenges such as climate change, energy and resource scarcity
The Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ-CERCA) has been awarded 6 projects in the State Research Agency (AEI) “Generación de Conocimiento 2022” call. The purpose of the call is to finance the implementation of research projects aimed both at promoting the generation and significant advancement of scientific knowledge and research of proven quality and to address some of the most pressing societal challenges of our time, such as climate change, energy sustainability, and resource scarcity.
The ICIQ projects that have been awarded funding are:
1. INTCATGOLD (Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren Group, REF. PID2022-136623NB-I00)
Under the guidance of Professor Antonio Echavarren, the INTCATGOLD team will be focused on the advancement of the field of gold homogeneous catalysis by synthesizing advanced chiral gold catalysts that mimic the characteristics of enzymes and to develop new synthetic methods based on the activation of acetylene gas, a commodity in industry.
This project addresses problems of relevance at the frontier of fundamental research in homogeneous organometallic catalysis, an area that has completely changed the landscape of organic synthesis in research laboratories and in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry.
2. ENERGYCAT (Prof. Antoni Llobet Group, REF. PID2022-140143OB-I00)
Prof. Antoni Llobet and his team will lead the ENERGYCAT project, aiming to create efficient hybrid molecular materials as electrodes and molecular photoelectrodes for redox reactions that significantly improve the cutting-edge materials available today. This will be achieved through a detailed knowledge of the kinetics and thermodynamics of the multiple chemical reactions that govern their behaviour.
The work to be carried out in the project will generate the essential information necessary to obtain the tools for designing devices for the generation of an economic, sustainable, and environmentally friendly source of energy.
3. ESDUCAPS (Prof. Julio Lloret-Fillol Group, REF. PID2022- 140142OB-I00)
With the ESDUCAPS project, led by Prof. Julio Lloret-Fillol, ICIQ is taking on the challenge of research and development on artificial photosynthesis (AP) to bring a new era of sustainability in chemical production. The concept behind AP is to use renewable energy sources, such as sunlight, to drive chemical reactions and produce fuels and chemicals with non-critical and earth-abundant elements.
This project will have a significant impact on science and technology as it can provide fundamental advancements towards environmental sustainability and energy supply.
4. ELECTROVOLT (Prof. Emilio Palomares Group, REF. PID2022-139866NB-I00)
Prof. Emilio Palomares is at the helm of the ELECTROVOLT project, which focuses on studying molecules and materials by analysing and understanding the photo-electro catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) using solar cells as a current/voltage source and mixed oxides/molecular materials as electro active catalysts.
This project will result in the demonstration of new scalable low-cost photovoltaic technology, based on perovskite/organic semiconductor materials, that are lacking today in the market, which will be coupled to low cost electrocatalysts for the synthesis of liquid fuels employing CO2 as a feedstock.
5. FUN-C (Prof. Marcos G. Suero Group, REF. PID2022-140286NB-I00)
The FUN-C project, led by Prof. Marcos G. Suero, is a pioneering initiative to develop a new catalytic platform for the enantioselective functionalizations of C-C bonds with enantiopure carbyne equivalents and its application in the synthesis of valuable enantioenriched molecules.
The methodology will be exploited in the synthesis of natural products and in the late-stage functionalization of drug molecules / natural products. Moreover, the project aims to isolate and characterize key intermediates of the reaction and perform kinetic studies to determine the mechanism of the reaction.
6. PHOTOCLEAN (Dr. Katherine Villa Group, REF. PID2022-136886OA-I00)
Dr. Katherine Villa’s team is leading the PHOTOCLEAN project, focused on the development of efficient self-propelled photocatalytic microswimmers with surface recognition sites for the removal of persistent organic pollutants from contaminated water under sun-like irradiation.
The selective removal of low concentrations of toxic persistent organic pollutants from contaminated water that contains high concentrations of less harmful pollutants remains a great environmental challenge. PHOTOCLEAN will contribute to the development of alternative water cleaning approaches to overcome current environmental challenges with far-reaching scientific and socio-economic impacts.
The “Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento” are funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033/ FEDER, UE