HyMAP is the acronym for Hybrid Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis, the title of the ERC Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr. V. A. de la Peña O’Shea in the 2014 call. The challenging process of Artificial Photosynthesis is based on the use of solar light to convert CO2 and water into energy-useful compounds like CO, methane, methanol and hydrogen – just as green plants do, but replacing the sugars they produce by those simpler compounds. HyMAP aims at developing a new generation of hybrid organo-inorganic materials that are able to efficiently promote, by photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical reactions, the chemical transformations ecompassed in artificial photosynthetic processes. In order to reach this goal, the HyMAP team investigates materials and processes and different scales – from nanoscaled catalysts to pilot-plant reactors.

Photoactivated Processes Unit, IMDEA Energy



Scientists discover hydration is key to improving catalyst performance for industrial use

Scientists from University of California–Berkeley have used neutron scattering to identify the strong Brønsted acid site in a metal–organic framework (MOF) acid catalyst to improve the efficiency in the conversion of chemicals into new substances. By probing a material known as MOF-808-SO4, the team discovered molecular behaviour that causes the catalyst to become less acidic, which could slow down the catalytic process vital in making products such as plastics, fragrances, cosmetics, flame retardants and solvents. Their findings, detailed in Nature Chemistry, are expected to help spur the development of new MOF catalysts that industry could use to improve the process of turning substances such as petroleum into C8 chemicals.

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The HyMAP project is developed by the researchers of the Photoactivated Processes Unit at the IMDEA Energy Institute. The Photoactivated Processes Unit started its activities in January 2016. The main objective of the Unit is to develop of multifunctional materials, reactors and devices able to efficiently harvest light to drive photon-activated processes for energy and environmental application. In addition is also oriented to the deep understanding light-Material Interactions and its effect in the performance.


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