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Dr. Sonja Pullen. Photo: HIMS.

The Pullen lab is currently developing homogeneous photocatalysts that selectively produce formic acid directly from water, carbon dioxide and light. This aligns nicely with the development at DENS, that is working towards a new, sustainable fuel called Hydrozine, which is essentially formic acid. It is created from water and CO2 in a light-powered  process that resembles the way plants produce sugar.

Formic acid thus offers an opportunity to store solar energy in the form of a liquid fuel without the need for actual plants. Using a Hydrozine power generator developed by DENS, this ‘solar fuel’ can be used on-demand to generate electricity or clean hydrogen gas, while the waste product COis captured and reused for the production of new formic acid. The joint project between Pullen and DENS will focus on optimizing the Amsterdam photocatalysts for formic acid production, such that these becomes compatible with the DENS technology.

A ‘PPP allowance’ from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy supports R&D projects between knowledge institutions and companies. Every euro that private companies spend supporting research organisations in R&D cooperation generates an allowance of €0.30.

See also