Organometallic Fuel Cells

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This project is pursued in collaboration with the group of Francesco Vizza at the CNR in Sesto Fiorentino. The idea is to use organometallic complexes as active sites on electrodes, which allow the conversion of molecules form renewable resources like alcohols or sugars into fine-chemicals. Electric current is produced as only “by-product” in this process. This very challenging project requires the development of highly efficient organometallic catalysts, their implementation into conducting support materials, and the assembly of working devices. We try to understand the mechanisms using various spectroscopic techniques bolstered by quantum chemical calculations. The gain from this project may be the development of fuel cells with very low non-noble metal loadings and syntheses of chemicals under the avoidance of waste.

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