Nature utilizes energy from the sun for its production. Some algae produce hydrogen from water with the help of solar energy. So why not imitate nature to extract renewable energy without harming the environment? The EU is now giving European research a boost by allocating €1.8 million to a new network to be led by Uppsala University.
Plant photosynthesis has long been studied with an eye to understanding its underlying mechanisms and then applying this knowledge to the production of energy for the needs of society. Today, hydrogen is regarded as one of the most promising forms of fuel for the future. A new European network, SOLAR-H, has now been established to bring together research competence from different fields. “The network consists of laboratories that lead the world in a broad spectrum of fields from molecular biology, biochemistry, and synthetic chemistry to physical chemistry,” says Professor Stenbjörn Styring at the Section for Biomimetics at Uppsala University.
He recently moved to Uppsala from Lund University, together with his research team, and he will now be coordinating the new network, which was initiated in Sweden and the Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis. With the move to Uppsala the Consortium will now be able to gather most of its research at one university, having previously been split up at three different ones. Uppsala already had Leif Hammarström’s team in chemical physics and Peter Lindblad’s group in physiological botany. A further team has now been assembled around synthetic chemists that recently came to Uppsala from Stockholm University in connection with Styring’s move.
Anneli Waara | alfa
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
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