Our goal within the MOST project is primarily focused upon the chemical catalytic release of stored solar energy from the metastable quadricyclane molecule to the parent molecule norbornadiene. In the organic photochemistry group at the University of La Rioja, we test a variety of catalytic materials in conjunction with different norbornadiene-quadricyclane molecule pairings.
The primary objective is to attain a 100% conversion to the parent molecule norbornadiene at fast rates.
Furthermore, we are in close collaboration with Johnson Matthey (UK) and Fraunhofer ISE (Germany) with regards to the testing of the reactor vessel which will be placed in the final device. We intend to design a reactor vessel which will fulfil the following criteria: macroscopic heat release on demand, durability over 1000 cycles (of photoisomerization and catalysis) and avoiding catalytic degradation and/or leaching from its support. From an engineering outlook, pressure drops and large temperature gradients across the reactor are to be avoided. Hence, the selection of catalytic reactor vessel (fixed bed reactor, coated reactor, or suspension reactor) will be pivotal to success of the device.
The organic photochemistry group at the University of La Rioja work primarily on the design, control, and mechanistic behaviour of photochemical reactions. In the MOST project, we are involved on the experimental side, wherein our evaluation of many catalyst-molecule pairings and testing of the reactor vessel will be essential to the success of the final device. The team is composed of Prof. Diego Sampedro, Post Doc Ignacio Funes-Ardoiz, PhD researchers Lucien Magson and Alberto Giménez Gómez.