Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Reducing CO2 Emissions By Photochemical Recycling To Useful Chemicals

A new BMBF junior research group founded in Industrial Chemistry at RUB 1.18 Million Euro grant for development of heterogeneous photocatalysts

Starting in October 2010, Dr. Jennifer Strunk will lead a new junior research group in the Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry lead by Prof. Dr. MartinMuhler with a 5-year, 1.18 million Euro research grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Their research will target the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide to produce useful building block chemicals of the chemical industry.

Dr. Strunk, who has just returned from her postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, is looking forward to contributing to the research activity at her Alma Mater. The funding of the junior research group originates from a successful application to the Call for Proposals “Technologien für Nachhaltigkeit und Klimaschutz – Chemische Prozesse und stoffliche Nutzung von CO2” (Technologies for Sustainability and Climate Preservation – Chemical Processes and Molecular Conversion of CO2”) of the BMBF.

Reducing Carbon Emissions using Photocatalyst, Water and Light

To reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide carbon dioxide emissions have to be reduced as soon as possible. Dr. Jennifer Strunk and her coworkers from the Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry aim to reach this goal by recycling CO2 to important building block chemicals for industrial or fuel applications. Many of these chemicals, for example methane and methanol, are used in large quantities for electricity generation, transportation fuels, and as basis for consumer products. Today these chemicals are produced from natural gas, a dwindling fossil fuel, and so this research also targets the problem of ever decreasing fossil resources. Dr. Strunk has the ambitious goal to recycle CO2 into useful products only by adding water and shining light on the reaction mixture, instead of using hydrogen and a conventional energy-intensive high-pressure process. However, in order to make the CO2 and the water react simply under illumination with light to form the desired products, it requires adding an appropriate photocatalyst to the reaction mixture. As of today, such catalysts are barely known, so Dr. Strunk and the junior research group plan on knowledge-based development, and testing and characterization of a variety of heterogeneous photocatalysts for the desired chemistry.

Dr. Jennifer Strunk

Jennifer Strunk, born 1980, completed her Dipl. in chemistry at the Ruhr-University Bochum from 1999 to 2004 and conducted her PhD research in the Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry of Dr. Prof. Martin Muhler. After receiving her PhD degree in March 2008, she went to the University of California, Berkeley, where she carried out postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Prof. Alexis T. Bell. During this time she developed expertise in titania catalysts, which are promising candidates for photocatalytic CO2 reduction. As she was born in Herne, Dr. Strunk feels connected to the Ruhr region and she is happy to return to the Ruhr-University with her own research project.

The BMBF Call for Proposals “Technologien für Nachhaltigkeit und Klimaschutz – Chemische Prozesse und stoffliche Nutzung von CO2”

The research funding within the scope of this Call for Proposals is meant to contribute to reaching Germany’s ambitious climate protection goals. Research and development in key technologies shall be intensified. The chemical industry in particular can make major contributions to overcoming the challenges of climate change by developing new technologies, increasing energy efficiency of industrial processes and reducing energy consumption. Both junior research groups and shared projects between industry and university are funded within the scope of this Call for Proposals.


Dr. Jennifer Strunk, Technische Chemie der Ruhr-Universität, 44780 Bochum, Tel. 0234/32-25012, E-Mail:

Dr. Josef König | idw
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>