NUI Galway wins €4m EU fund to produce sustainable chemicals
NUI Galway has won a €4 million EU project to produce chemicals using solar energy.
Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, the NUI Galway team will train 15 early stage researchers as specialists in using water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen solar chemical such as hydrogen, ammonia and methanol. The team will begin work on the project, Solar2chem, at the end of the month.
At present, there is a gap in European solar chemical production and usage in industry and mobility. However, NUI Galway has made some headway in this sphere. Its pilot project to produce hydrogen from solar to power the public transport fleet in the Canaries will commence soon.
Nine academic organisations and three non-academic partners will collaborate on Solar2chem to provide training programmes on scientific, technical and personal development skills.
Driving both Solar2chem and the Canaries pilot is Dr Pau Farras Costa of the school of chemistry at NUI Galway.
“It will help to further establish NUI Galway as Ireland and Europe’s leading university for sustainability,” said Dr Costa. “We plan to work hard to deliver an intensive training programme that explores new methods of solar energy conversion to deliver a future supply of sustainable chemicals for the European Union. The EU needs to become leaders in this field and our university will be proud to work with the highest tiers of academics and industry to achieve this.”
President of NUI Galway, Prof Ciaran O hOgartaigh, said: “NUI Galway has committed itself to put climate change at the centre of the agenda for the University. We recently developed a five-year strategy to drive radical change in how our economy and society develops underpinned by values, including sustainability, and Solar2Chem shows our capacity to deliver sustainable technologies that deliver for Ireland’s research and development sector, further enhancing our ability to attract foreign direct investment.”
NUI Galway is involved in over 133 Horizon 2020 projects and has received over €63 million in direct funding from the programme to date.