Solar radiation can be used by means of photochemical processes to break down toxins or to produce useful chemicals and fuels. To make this possible, the radiation energy must be absorbed and converted into chemical energy. To this end, both sensitizers and photocatalysts can be used. Photocatalysts are materials that accelerate the absorption of photons (e.g. solar radiation) chemical reactions.
In addition to the absorption of solar radiation, as far as possible, it is foremost an efficient conversion of the radiation required to obtain a photocatalysis with high solar efficiency. Furthermore, application forms and operating conditions must be found that allow sufficiently long down times and low operating costs.
Within solar process technology the exploration of catalyst systems aims at qualifying the energy efficiency of new photocatalysts and the development and optimization of applications. The long-term stability of the catalysts is examined. The researchers are thereby especially interested in non-toxic materials with the potential for sustainable manufacturability.