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9.16】Prof. Gabriele CENTI
Lee Hsun Lecture Series
AUTHOR: Lee Hsun Award Office       DATE: 09/02/2014 TEXT SIZE: A A A

Lee Hsun Lecture Series

Topic: Nano-engineering of materials and devices to producesolar fuels and to move towards the realization of artificial leaves

Speaker: Prof. Gabriele CENTI
University of Messina, ERIC aisbl and CASPE-INSTM, Italy

Time: 10:00-12:00, (Tue.) Sept. 16, 2014

Venue: Room 403, Shi Changxu Building, IMR CAS

Welcome to attend!


Moving to a new sustainable energy scenario requires developing new device for using and storage solar energy, where the direct solar-to-chemical energy represents a necessary direction to better integrate new solutions within the actual energy infrastructure, largely based on liquid fuels. In this sense, moving from devices producing H2 from water to devices able to convert carbon dioxide using sunlight is a necessary step. An important element to proceed in this direction is the design of new electrodes and photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) devices for solar fuels production from CO2 and H2O using sunlight. This is the step to move to the development ofartificial leaves, enabling the transformation to the next generation economy (Economy 3.0, based on distributed & sustainable production)  

The lecture will first analyse the motivations why chemical energy storage is the key for a sustainable use of solar energy, and some of the recent progresses in producing solar fuels and related devices. Then, discussion will be focused on the analysis of the critical elements of artificial leaves, with focus particularly on the issue of nano-engineering of materials and devices. These aspects are critical for the development of next-generation solar photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) devices. There are many challenges to be addressed to realize with good efficiency this process, from the challenges in the electrocatalysts to the understanding of the coupling of the fast processes of charge separation with the slower (at least two order of magnitude) processes of catalytic reduction and charge transfer. There is the need to understand this chemistry and to analyse the role of advanced design in nanomaterial to control these processes. Transport processes and reactions at the interface are often dominating the overall performances. Thus, the development of the single components should proceed in parallel with the device development, and not separate as currently. In addition, most of the current developments are not directly comparable and therefore a first challenge is to enable their comparison on solid bases.


1) Quadrelli EA, Centi G, Duplan JL, Perathoner S. Carbon dioxide recycling: Emerging large-scale technologies with industrial potential. ChemSusChem 2011, 4: 1194-1215.

2) Centi G, Quadrelli EA, Perathoner S, Catalysis for CO2 conversion to introduce renewable energy in the value chain of chemical industries, Energy &Env. Science 2013, 6: 1711-1731.

3) Centi, G. Perathoner S., Green Carbon Dioxide: Advances in CO2 Utilization, John Wiley & Sons (2014).

4) Bensaid S, Centi G, Garrone E, Perathoner S, Saracco G, Towards Artificial Leaves for Solar Hydrogen and Fuels from CO2, ChemSusChem, 2012, 5: 500-521.

5) Lanzafame P,  Centi G, Perathoner S, Catalysis for biomass and CO2 use through solar energy: opening new scenarios for a sustainable and low-carbon chemical production. Chem. Soc. Rev.2014, DOI: 10.1039/C3CS60396B.

6) Genovese C, Ampelli C, Perathoner S, Centi G,   Electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 on carbon nanotube-based electrodes for producing solar fuels, J.  Catal. 2013, 308: 237-249

7) Perathoner S, Centi G. CO2Recycling: A Key Strategy to Introduce Green Energy in the Chemical Production Chain, ChemSusChem2014, 7: 1274-1282.



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