Solar energy conversion to storage: my journey
For long sustainable human civilization we have to reduce our ecological footprint and that can only be done by minimizing the impact on the environment without compromising the current process of modernization. Out of several challenges to mankind, source of energy is the major one. In current time we are very much dependent on our fuel bank i.e. fossil fuels. The stored fossil fuels will not run for ever, sooner or later we will run out of this. The other aspect is that burning fossil fuels generate CO2 which is the one of the main culprits for global warming and related environmental disbalance. So there is a basic need to search for alternative renewable energy sources. One good way is to utilize the solar energy that can be done either conversion of solar energy into electrical energy or storing as fuels.
So here in this seminar I will discuss my contribution towards these goals. A part of my PhD thesis deals with solar energy conversion and to do that I designed several series of organic dyes for dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC). DSSC is a nice technique for converting solar energy into electrical energy but ˜ 20% of total consumption of energy is consumed as electrical energy and rest as fuels. Alternative and effective way to contribute towards the renewable energy research area is to think about storing solar energy as fuel. To fulfil that goal we can mimic natural photosynthesis. So I will discuss some of my works during postdoctoral study which were focused in the area of solar light utilization to do some chemical reactions such as water and CO2 reduction and alcohol oxidation by either heterogeneous photocatalysis or photo-electrocatalysis through photo-electrochemical cells (PEC).
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