Dr Michael E. A. Warwick


Person imageDr Michael E. A. Warwick
  • COFUND Marie Curie Research Fellow
  • PDRA at: Universit√† degli Studi di Padova (University of Padua)
  • PhD: University College London

Project: Solar Energy Harvesting and Hydrogen Production as Green Feedstock for “CO2 to Fuels”

Aims and Objectives

  1. To synthesise a series of biphasic Janus-like materials each containing iron oxide and another phase.
  2. To characterise and assess each set of particles for their water-splitting abilities in comparison with each other as well as with photocatalytic materials developed inside the sustainable hydrogen innovation and technology group and beyond.
  3. To produce novel materials with exciting photocatalytic properties that efficiently split water into hydrogen and oxygen such that the hydrogen can be used for the creation of carbon-based fuels and the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Project description

The project looks at the preparation of composite materials for solar energy harvesting and production of hydrogen. Using a novel sequential layer deposition method and employing soluble substrates allows for specialist photocatalysts consisting of nanoparticles that incorporate both a hydrogen and oxygen catalyst to be created i.e. a single particle with two different chemical properties on separate faces.

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These particles are often referred to as “Janus like” after the Roman God Janus who is depicted as a double headed coin or a two-faced statue. It is this new synthetic process that provides the edge in materials fabrication and will be utilised to develop an array of materials to better understand the underlying science behind water splitting photocatalysts, with the aim of producing catalysts that efficiently harvest solar energy into “green hydrogen”, concentrating on the visible part of the solar spectrum via a Z-scheme. These particles will absorb light from the sun, transfer electrons between the two nanoparticle faces and carry out reactions to split water into both hydrogen and oxygen.

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It is predicted that by combining iron oxide, a well-known visible light photoanode, with another active material to form a Janus like particle will lead to the development of a series of highly active water-splitting materials. These materials can then be used as a method for producing a green-feedstock of hydrogen as both an energy vector and raw material in CO2 conversion applications.

Research Funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 663830.

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