Chemistry for Renewable Energy

 

This study track focuses on chemical principles, materials and methods required for the development of renewable energy resources and energy carriers. This includes solar-based methods such as solar cells and artificial photosynthesis and ”solar fuels”, as well as hydrogen production, fuel cells and efficient batteries.

Programme outline in detail >>
 

Profile courses

Energy Related Materials and Catalysis, 5 credits

Material properties at an atomic and molecular level for chemical renewable energy systems; batteries, solar cells, fuel cells, hydrogen storage, and catalysis. Bulk material versus nano-structured material and thin film systems, surface effects and surface properties. The most important synthetic and characterisation methods for producing and understanding energy related materials on both an experimental and theoretical level. For more information - see the syllabus.

Advanced Electrochemistry, 10 credits

This course focuses on the fundamental electrochemical theory, techniques and reactions required to understand electro-chemical processes with relevance to energy conversion. Particular emphasis is put on the electrochemistry of batteries, fuel cells and solar cells as well as electrochemical techniques that can be used to study such devices and to synthesise new energy-relevant materials. For more information - see the syllabus

Chemical Energy Conversion and Storage, 15 credits

The course gives advanced knowledge of principles and systems for renewable chemical energy conversion and storage. This comprises batteries and fuel cells, solar energy, different types of solar cells, natural and artificial photosynthesis, photobiological hydrogen production as well as catalytic production of renewable fuels. For more information - see the syllabus.

Photochemistry, 10 credits

The course covers essential parts of modern theoretical and experimental photochemistry. Classical and quantum mechanical methods are used to describe fundamental photochemical and photo- physical processes in molecules and semiconductors. Particular emphasis is put on the advanced description of photochemical transformations relevant to energy conversion schemes, including photocatalysis and photosynthesis. The application of photo- induced processes in medicine and industry is covered, as is atmospheric photochemistry and its environmental aspects. For more information - see the syllabus.

Research

The research for renewable energy is one of the strategic areas of Uppsala University where several faculties co-operate and where we take up a leading position in the research world.
Chemistry has a key role in the development of alternative energy sources. Within the section of chemistry many fundamental and applied research projects within this area are successfully being pursued; for example dry and wet solar cells, artificial photosynthesis, smart windows, hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, batteries and fuel cells. Read more about the research here.

 

Solarcell research is at Uppsala University taken place within two different research groups. One of them is working with so called CIGS, a sort of thin film solar cells, and has the leading world record of 16.6% efficiency for modulus in lab scale. The other group works with so called Grätzelcells, photoelectric nano particles of titan oxide dipped in a coloring witch catches the solar energy and transforms it to electricity. The efficiency for these cells are now around 8%. The biggest profit with the Grätzelcells is the low price of production and that it can be assembled on different kinds of material.