Research that can change our energy system

Research that can change our energy system

 

From green hydrogen gas to concrete batteries. The Swedish Energy Agency is funding 16 research projects with the potential to change our entire energy system.

Finding bold and ground-breaking ideas with huge potential to reshape our energy system along sustainable lines. That’s the purpose of the Swedish Energy Agency’s research programme “Pioneering research and innovation with energy relevance”.

16 research projects – from among a total of 80 applications – have now received a share of SEK 68 million. The research portfolio includes the following eight pioneering projects (research institution and amount in brackets):

  • Electricity production based on salt water differentials. New and creative ways to boost performance and production of electricity through capacitive mixing, i.e. by utilising the differences in salt content in the water. (KTH, 3.0 million)
  • Increased efficiency of solar cells. Development of a self-building gel as an add-on solution to increase the efficiency of existing solar cells. The technology is based on converting one high-energy photon into two photons with lower energy that can be converted into charge carriers. (Chalmers, 3.1 million).
  • Green hydrogen gas from forest. Exploring the possibility of producing hydrogen gas by oxidising alcohols and other chemicals from a bio-refinery, which reduces electricity consumption. (KTH, 3.1 million).
  • Jet fuel with the aid of bacteria. Design of cyanobacteria that can convert solar energy and carbon dioxide into small volatile hydrocarbons. These will then be linked up photochemically to longer liquid hydrocarbons that can be used as jet fuel. (Uppsala University, 5.2 million).
  • Analysis of supergrid potential. Using new data and modelling methods to analyse the potential for a so-called supergrid, i.e. an electricity grid that makes it possible to transport power over very big areas, for example, from Africa to Europe.
  • Multifunctional biological sources of energy. The project aims to develop electricity supply for portable sensors by combining solar cells and biological fuel cells and thus eliminate the need for batteries. (Malmö University, 3.6 million).
  • Rechargeable concrete batteries. Developing rechargeable cement-based concrete batteries. (Chalmers, 4.1 million).
  • Photochemical production of solar fuel. Producing solar fuel – hydrogen gas and hydrocarbons – using molecular catalysts. The pioneering factor is combining research regarding artificial photosynthesis with knowledge from dye-sensitised solar cells. (Uppsala University, 9.3 million).

This article was written by Johan Wickström, and is taken from www.energivarlden.se, the Swedish Energy Agency website.