SOlar Energy to power CO2 REduction towards C2 chemicals for energy storage

Project Details


SOREC2 aims at developing a breakthrough technology for a direct transformation of sunlight and CO2 into chemicals, such as
ethanol or ethylene, for a safe energy storage. SOREC2 brings expertise in photonic structure design (for optimal sunlight harvesting)
together with expertise in catalysis (to reduce CO2 into products that can store chemical energy or with a high economical interest).
On the light harvesting side, ICFO will develop a system composed of three complementary light-absorbing elements in order to
obtain the largest possible broadband sunlight harvesting. This system will rely on newly developed light trapping nanoconfigurations and will enable fine tuning of the potential energy needed for the reduction reactions via an innovative arrangement
of the low, middle and high bandgap materials. CALTECH will develop a hybrid catalyst system, exploiting a novel combination of
CO2 reduction catalysts with a redox/proton mediator to lower overpotentials and enhance selectivity towards C2 products such as
ethanol or ethylene. For the photoanode, where the chemistry and the optics in a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) are interwoven,
UAB and ICFO will design a multilayer configuration to achieve an optimal electro-chemistry, while not undermining the optical
performance of such PEC. To ensure a transformation of the scientific research into a technology breakthrough with substantial
economical and societal impacts, SOREC2 incorporates UNIFE to define the PEC upscaling roadmap and the companies GEM, SAULE,
and VITSOLC for the creation of new markets. Finally, to identify non-technical barriers (such as political, economic, and societal) that
SOREC2 may encounter, and to engage relevant stakeholders and citizens on the route towards market uptake, SOREC2 incorporates
DBT, a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that technology development is shaped and informed by cooperation
between citizens, experts, stakeholders, and decision-makers.
Effective start/end date1/11/2231/10/25

Collaborative partners

  • Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) (Coordinator) (lead)
  • Università degli Studi di Ferrara (Project partner)
  • Saule Spolka Akcyjna (Project partner)
  • Vitsolc Technologies, S.L. (Project partner)
  • Gemmate Technologies (Project partner)
  • Fonden Teknologirådet (Project partner)
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) (Project partner)


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