Project

SUNRISE - Solar Energy for a Circular Economy (EU H2020 CSA, Ref. 816336)

Goal: We propose a sustainable alternative to the fossil-based, energy-intensive production of fuels and base chemicals. The needed energy will be provided by sunlight, the raw materials will be water and other molecules abundantly available in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen.

Our proposal for a coordination and support action (CSA) has been successfully selected by the European Commission at stage one and two of the FETFLAG-01-2018 call! The CSA project, funded with €1M, has started 1st March 2019. The main objectives of the CSA are to:
(i) Develop the Scientific and Technological (S&T) roadmap;
(ii) Build the community for carrying out the Flagship roadmap including scientific, industrial and general public stakeholders; and
(iii) Establish an effective Flagship governance scheme.

Date: 1 March 2019 - 28 February 2020

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Project log

Artur Braun
added an update
It is my pleasure to spread the news that South Africa semiconductor and solar energy research Physicist Mrs. Mmantsae Diale, PhD, Mmantsae Diale has now become promoted to full professor.
Congratulations, Mmantsae!
 
Congratulations! Looking forward to meeting in Honolulu in December:))
 
Great news! Congratulations, Prof Diale.
 
Artur Braun
added a research item
The 100th anniversary of a leading nitrogen fixation technology developer like CASALE SA is a reason to reflect over the 20th century successful solution of the problem of world food supply, and to look out for solutions for sustainable developments with respect to ammonia production. We review the role of nitrogen as essential chemical constituent in photosynthesis and biology, and component of ammonia as it is used as fertilizer for primary production by photosynthesis for farming and food supply and its future role as energy carrier. While novel synthesis methods and very advanced synchrotron based x-ray analytical techniques are being developed, we feel it is important to refer to the historical and economical context of nitrogen. The breaking of the N≡N triple bond remains a fundamental chemical and energetic problem in this context. We review the electrochemical ammonia synthesis as an energetically and environmentally benign method. Two relatively novel X-ray spectroscopy methods, which are relevant for the molecular under-standing of the catalysts and biocatalysts, i.e. soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy and nuclear resonant vibration spectroscopy are presented. We illustrate the perceived reality in fertilizer usage on the field, and fertilizer production in the factory complex with photos and thus provide a contrast to the academic view of the molecular process of ammonia function and production.
Artur Braun
added a research item
MRS Energy & Sustainability links materials research with technological forecast, policy, and social change. Inspired by a large European initiative on carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction and synthetic fuel production powered by solar energy (SUNRISE), we invited papers for a special issue on circular economy.
Artur Braun
added an update
MRS Energy & Sustainability
Solar Energy and the Circular Economy
MRS Energy & Sustainability links materials research with technological forecast, policy, and social change. Inspired by a large European initiative on carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction and synthetic fuel production powered by solar energy (SUNRISE [1]), we invited papers for a special issue on circular economy. By circular economy we simply understand the return of used material back into production, also known as "re-cycling". The hierarchy of waste and waste management (compare [2]) has led to the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) and eventually 4R principle (Recover), which includes resource management.
In the worst case, spent material ends up in the pure environment as illegally deposited waste. Legal ways of waste disposal includes adding to landfills or burning in incinerators, the latter of which will bring about heat, which can be used for district heating, and ash, which may contain valuable materials including noble metals. More sophisticated ways of waste disposal encompass recycling methods, which, depending on the material and industry, can represent an industry of its own.
The ancient Greeks and Romans collected metal and glass, and remelted them, showing that recycling is nothing new. Likewise, circular economy is not new, as Sikdar points out [3]. The SUNRISE initiative aims to expand the technology of thecircular economy towards CO2 assimilation. This is the type of circular economy which has been demonstrated in the natural world for billions of years. This is known as carbon cycle [4] and includes one of the most fundamental processes of primary production by photosynthesis. Practically, this is the conversion of atmospheric CO2 (and CO2 from industrial point sources) along with water to hydrocarbon fuels (which Melvin Calvin projected as petroleum plantations [5]) and base chemicals. It also includes the production of nitrogen compounds such as ammonia [6, 7], which has its own biogeochemical cycle. The necessary energy for powering these cycles shall come from renewable sources, primarily from solar energy. Worldwide research activity on renewable energy can easily be interpreted as circular economy research efforts.
The contributions to this special issue serve as a snapshot of technical efforts and policy worldwide towards use of renewable energy, some of it well-established and some quite novel. We hope that readers will find inspiration to further their own work or encourage the work of others to further these goals toward a circular economy fuelled by solar energy.
Guest Editors: Artur Braun, Rita Toth, Selma Erat
 
Artur Braun
added an update
FREE EVENT - REGISTER TODAY
Solar Energy and the Circular Economy
Date: February 10, 2021
Time: 08:00AM - 09:30AM
You must be registered to participate!
Host(s):
  • Selma Erat, Mersin University
Speaker(s):
  • Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou, University of New South Wales - Sydney
  • Volodymyr Krasnoholovets, Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • Maurizio Fermeglia, University of Trieste
The significance of energy to social and economic well-being has been increasing all around the world. Most of the energy demand is supplied by using fossil fuels, which are dominant contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting in global warming and further climate change. The circular economy (CE) is defined as a systems-level approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. To tackle the climate crisis, the Circular Economy (CE) offers an approach that is not only powered by renewable energy, but also transforms the way products are designed and used.
In other words, the main aim of the CE is to scale up low-carbon and efficiency solutions that will fulfill the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Struggling climate change and energy transformation are main challenges for a sustainable future. Thus, the policy makers take into accounts both ambitious plans about climate and enable business-led solutions in order to spread out and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The talks presented in this webinar represent work that was presented in a special section of MRS Energy & Sustainability. The talks include (i) renewable methods to produce hydrogen, which is touted as the future’s fuel and is an important feedstock for chemical industry, (ii) technologies to assist in the energy transition to the next century, (iii) renewable energy technologies particularly solar photovoltaics (PVs), which are expected to become the primary source for electricity in the next 10-15 years.
Each talk will be followed by a Question and Answer session with that speaker.
 
Artur Braun
added 2 research items
The motivation for this special issue on circular economy, and national and global policy, originated during the international stakeholder meeting (Ochoa 2019) for our SUNRISE flagship project (Abbott 2019; Kupferschmidt 2019) in Bruxelles in June 2019. At the same day, one mile away from our meeting, Deutsche Energie Agentur (DENA) held a panel round table meeting on regulation for renewable fuels (Powerfuels 2019), at which the author could participate. The SUNRISE flagship is a European initiative for the sustainable production of solar fuels and base chemicals. The yet to be developed technology is based on the chemical reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) from concentrated sources and from the atmosphere, and solar water splitting for hydrogen production. Hydrogen and carbon dioxide will be synthesized to hydrocarbons for industrial use. When the synthetic hydrocarbons are consumed, carbon dioxide will be generated and fed back in a circular process, powered by renewable energy. In this extended carbon cycle (Calvin 1961), CO2 is a valuable asset and remains part of the global biogeochemical cycle and becomes part of the circular economy. CO2 concentration in the atmosphere will be reduced to an acceptable, climate neutral value once the cycle is in operation (Faber et al. 2020).
The term circular economy appears to be self-explaining and its principle entirely reasonable. Cyclic processes are intrinsic to nature and technology and have even a metaphysical core: What goes on up is coming on down. Since billions of years, solar energy drives the conversion of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen as global biogeochemical cycles in photosynthesis. This primary production is the foundation for all technology, economy and human development. However, not all of them do recycle the waste by default. Recycling of CO2 for the production of hydrocarbons as synthetic fuel and base chemicals is a new future technology, which shall help in meeting the emission targets of the Paris Agreement. The fossil fuel economy could be affected by such technology. Therefore, policy makers must weigh the various interests of the manifold of stakeholders worldwide. Motivated by a European Flagship initiative (SUNRISE) on solar fuel production by decarbonization with renewable energy, we have made a snapshot of current projects and studies around circular economy in this special issue.
Artur Braun
added a research item
X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine-structure (EXAFS) spectra were recorded to investigate the electronic structure and local crystal structure of ZnO and ZnO:B powders produced via hydrothermal synthesis. ZnO and ZnO:B grow as micrometre-scale rods with hexagonal shape, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy micrographs. The number of broken ZnO:B rods increases with increasing B concentration, as observed in the images, due to B atoms locating in between the Zn and O atoms which weakens and/or breaks the Zn–O bonds. However, no disorder within the crystallographic structure of ZnO upon B doping is observed from X-ray diffraction results, which were supported by EXAFS results. To determine the atomic locations of boron atoms in the crystal structure and their influence on the zinc atoms, EXAFS data were fitted with calculated spectra using the crystal structure parameters obtained from the crystallographic analysis of the samples. EXAFS data fitting and complementary k -weight analysis revealed the positions of the B atoms – their positions were determined to be in between the Zn and O atoms.
Private Profile
added a research item
The primary purpose of this perspective is a critical analysis of the correlation of the current state-of-the-art raising circular economy platform enacted across the world with close looping of PET ( polyethylene terephthalate)-based plastic polymer disposal and sustainable recycling and upcycling technology. The goal of the upcycling process is to get the low-cost value-added monomer than those obtained from the hydrocarbon industry from the sustainability prospect. A summary of the circular bio-economic opportunities has also been described. Next, how the PET hydrolase enzyme degrades the PET plastic is discussed. It is followed by an additional overview of the effect of the mutant enzyme for converting 90% of plastic into terephthalate monomer. A site-directed mutagenesis procedure obtains this particular mutant enzyme. The diversity of different microbial organism for producing PET hydrolase enzyme is finally discussed with a suggested outlook of the circular economy goal from the viewpoint of plastic degradation objectives soon.
Artur Braun
added an update
30 April 2020 will be the last day of SUNRISE project.
We merge with Energy-X and formed the SUNERGY project.
I guess there will be no more news under this project link.
Please inform yourself in the SUNERGY-Project in ResearchGate.
Was a pleasure to communicate with you over RG.
Artur Braun, Empa
 
Laura Lopez Suarez
added an update
Do you want to know more about our continuation action?
SUNERGY in a nutshell in this new video!!
Watch it now and remember to follow us in our new research gate project log: https://www.researchgate.net/project/SUNERGY
 
Laura Lopez Suarez
added an update
ATTENTION!! The SUNRISE action is coming to an official end next April 30, therefore this account will not be further updated from this date onwards.
Please, keep following us at our new project page: https://www.researchgate.net/project/SUNERGY
A lot more is coming forward, including our latest video....do not miss anything!!!
 
Laura Lopez Suarez
added an update
Still not following the new SUNERGY Research Gate project: https://bit.ly/2PNPFbj ??
We have just launched a support letters campaign and there is an open position to hire a SUENRGY Programme Coordinator! Do not miss anything on our continuation action, together with ENERGY-X!!
 
Artur Braun
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Laura Lopez Suarez
added an update
Our last newsletter has been released!! Have a look at the 1 year wrap-up: https://bit.ly/2U8xfDj, learn more about the SUNERGY kick-off: https://bit.ly/2wWfejU and much more:
Remember, now you can keep following us at the SUNERGY project log: https://www.researchgate.net/project/SUNERGY, stay tuned!
#SolarEnergy #CircularEconomy #RenewableEnergy
 
Laura Lopez Suarez
added an update
ATTENTION!! From now on you can follow us through the new SUNERGY website and social media:
 
Laura Lopez Suarez
added an update
To close this intense year of cooperation and knowledge sharing for a sustainable future we release our latest achievement: the video of the SUNERGY kick-off event! Stay tuned SUNERGY website and more coming very soon...
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Check out some of solutions proposed towards a clean-energy EU in our freshly released infographic!
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Eager to be up-to-date with the latest advances in solar-driven fuels research? Check out the program of the 8th UK Solar Fuels Symposium & register by March 23!
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Artur Braun
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The SUNRISE Consortium Partners, along with Supporters and Partners of ENERGY-X, had a great week to spent in Bruxelles from 3-7 February 2020 for various meetings and workshops:
On Wednesday, 5th February 2020, there was the SUNERGY kick-off meeting hosted by the Government Representation of the Land Hessen (Germany), organised by DECHEMA.
Dr. Peter Dröll, E.U. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation "Prosperity", delivered an intervention and pointed to 1 Billion Euro research funds for the European Green Deal, sponsored by the E.U. Associated Countries.
See the photo below.
So, in my personal opinion, research groups in the associated countries should consider this option and look out for the likely soon-to-come call for proposals.
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
During the past few weeks, we've been busy developing SUNERGY's official logo, together with ENERGY-X👇
👏👏👏Big thanks to VABA Concept Lab for cooking this awesome design up for us!!! 
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
... Amedeo Agosti!!! CONGRATULATIONS to him and to our 2 runners-up!
1) Philipp Gotico
2) Gastón O. Larrazábal
THANKS to our judging panel and to all the participants who took part in the competition for your time & dedication!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Fill in this form & be part of SUNRISE's first big joint event with ENERGY-X!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry are looking for a #PhD candidate in physical chemistry and modeling. The project's title is ‘Converting Sunlight to Storable energy’.
If interested, apply by 9 February! https://buff.ly/36ofQdY
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Are we on the right track towards reaching negative net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050? Find out more about how solar power could help achieve a climate-neutral Europe & don't miss SUNRISE's interview with Katrin Mueller, sustainability engineer at SIEMENS AG and a SUNRISE consortium member:
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Over 800 visitors dropped by SUNRISE’s booth at the Green Zone of COP25 in Madrid, on 5-7 December, 2019.
Find out more about our 3-day participation 
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Learn more about our:
📸Photo contest (deadline is TOMORROW!)
📄 Roadmap towards a #CleanEnergyEU
🗓️ Participation at #COP25
...and much more!🔗👉https://buff.ly/2RfoxBP
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
What does a stakeholder workshop consist of? Grasp more about our latest Finnish meeting on December 9, 2019, organized by NordAqua Nordic Centre of Excellence and #SmartBIO in beautiful Turku! 
 
Artur Braun
added an update
Empa - the place where innovation starts
Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.
Our Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics (LHPC) has an opening for a
Scientist/Postdoctoral Researcher in the Field of bioelectric interfaces and photosynthesis
for experimental work in the 4-year cross-disciplinary project "Charge and energy transfer between cyanobacteria and semiconductor electrodes under γ-irradiation" funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, in collaboration with Hasselt University and IMEC, and SCK-CEN, the Belgian nuclear Science Center in Mol.
Your tasks
The researcher will
  • plan and carry out photoelectrochemical experiments on single crystal electrodes with bioelectric interfaces
  • design sample holder apparatus for in situ and operando experiments at radiation sources
  • collaborate with biologists and solid state physicists in photosynthesis experiments
  • prepare and analyze data, present them at conferences and publish them in peer reviewed journals
Your profile
We are looking for a highly motivated, ambitious and self-driven bio-physicist with a sound background in electrochemistry, surface science, thin film physics and theory. The new colleague must have a doctoral degree and should have preferably some years of postdoctoral experience in
  • Film analysis with x-rays, neutrons, electroanalytical methods
  • Protein spectroscopy, electrophysiology, photosynthesis, photoelectrochemistry as demonstrated by a competitive and convincing publication record.
This full time position is initially limited to two years (with possibility of an extension), which we wish to fill by no later than June 1, 2020. A fluent oral and written command in English and effective communication skills are mandatory as well as readiness for frequent international travel and flexible working hours.
For further information about the position please contact Dr Artur Braun artur.braun@empa.ch and visit our websites www.empa.ch/web/s201 and Empa-Video
We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.
Empa, Patricia Nitzsche, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.
 
Artur Braun
added an update
Mary Rose de Valladares, International Energy Agency, about Hydrogen, in Marrakech 2016
 
Artur Braun
added an update
The Flanders/Swiss Lead Agency Process has granted Hasselt University, the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN, and Empa (SUNRISE Partners & Supporters) the 4-year funding for research on
“Charge and energy transfer between cyanobacteria and semiconductor electrodes under gamma-irradiation”
with project start 1. December 2019.
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
We kick-off the SUN-ERGY photo contest, together with ENERGY-X!
The theme is renewable energies' conversion and storage into clean fuels and chemicals.
Check out all the info about the contest and submit your entry by January 15, 2020!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
How can a lasting participation of stakeholders in the SUN-ERGY project be facilitated? Check out this wrap-up on the first ENERGY-X Stakeholder Workshop held on December 2, 2019, at DECHEMA offices in busy Frankfurt! 
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Which products could be derived from CO2? What are the ecologic and energy-political issues that should be linked to scientific agendas?
These and other matters were adressed at #ESIB2019 - Check out the main outcomes from our partner Yagut Allahverdiyeva from University of Turku:
 
Artur Braun
added an update
Call for applications:
Interdisciplinary Summer School: Measuring Natural Illumination 20-24 July 2020 Chexbres (CH)
This is your opportunity to apply for the Interdisciplinary Summer School “Measuring Natural Illumination” organised by the Daylight Academy (20-24 July 2020). Using Horace Bénédict de Saussure’s cyanometer (1789) for measuring the colour of the sky as a starting point, you will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of measurement and characterisation of light in the natural environment.
Topics will include
- Measurement of natural illumination
- Perception of light and colour - Effects of light on human physiology - Understanding colour, light, illumination
This residential summer school combines lectures, practical workshops, an excursion and a student-led research project.
The summer school is open to students at all levels, researchers and practitioners from all disciplines interested in measuring natural illumination.
To apply, please complete the application form detailing educational background, motivation and a sketch of a short research project to be completed during the summer school by the application deadline (28 February 2020).
Places are limited. There are no course and tuition fees. Accommodation and meals will be provided. Successful applicants will need to pay for their own travel.
Please note: The summer school starts the morning of Monday, 20 July, so participants would need to plan to arrive the evening of Sunday, 19 July.
For further questions and queries, please email Manuel Spitschan.
Deadlines Application deadline: 28 February 2020 Notification: 31 March 2020
Organisation Daylight Academy, a VELUX STIFTUNG Initiative (https://daylight.academy/)
Organising team and tutors Manuel Spitschan, University of Oxford Martine Knoop, TU Berlin Oliver Stefani, Centre for Chronobiology Basel Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller, Zürich Lenka Maierova, CTU Prague Sabine Kling, ETH Zürich Peter Blattner, METAS
 
Rita Toth
added a research item
Call for Papers: "Circular economy: national and global policy" Manuscript submission deadline: 31 March 2020. Special Issue in "Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy" (SpringerNature) https://www.springer.com/journal/10098 This Special Issue in Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy is a snapshot of the sta-tus and development of renewable energy technologies in the context of climate change miti-gation, and its adverse boundary conditions, which impede or negate implementation of such clean technologies. In the current era of a dialectic "between holding on to and letting go of fossil fuels", policy and regulation has a decisive role in the realization of renewable energy technologies and dis-ruptive change of the energy economy. Every country needs energy, but access to energy is not even and not fair distributed, and be-cause of uneven distribution, new industries of processing, transport and distribution, alterna-tive energy technologies and financing have emerged. Every region and country has its specific situation, and its energy solution is a result of market and policy. SUNRISE is a European Horizon 2020 Flagship Project, which aims at decarbonization of the atmosphere and defossilization of the economy by utilizing renewable energy. CO2 as greenhouse gas and water as the hydrogen source are used to produce solar fuels, bulk chemicals and fertilizer ammonia in decentralized facilities across Europe. This disruptive technology will have impact on existing energy and manufacturing infrastruc-ture and will affect existing and require new regulatory measures. The balance between costs for producers and prize for consumers will possibly have to be as-sisted by subsidies, which are a burden for the taxpayers. The necessary capital investment will likely be based on government bonds, and forwards and futures. For example, the German government announced in November 2019 that it considers Austral-ia and Africa as future solar fuel suppliers for its heavy industry and transportation and mobil-ity sector, and purchaser of renewable energy infrastructure and technologies. At the same time, it will continue to purchase foreign fossil fuels and burn domestic coal in new built coal power plants. For this Special Issue we seek papers from all countries, which reflect their policy and regula-tion situation on the global trend for a renewable energy transition. Guest editors: • Artur Braun, Empa, Switzerland, Artur.Braun@empa.ch • Rita Toth, Empa, Switzerland, Rita.Toth@empa.ch Please send us an email if you are interested in contributing to the Special Issue. Manuscript submission deadline: 31 March 2020. To submit your manuscript please go to Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy (at https://www.editorialmanager.com/ctep/default.aspx) and follow the procedures for manu-script submission. Select our Special Issue from the drop-down menu and choose S.I. Circular economy: national and global policy. Feel free to contact us if you would have any questions.
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
We are happy to announce that SUNRISE will have a booth on December 5, 6 and 7 at COP25 in Madrid! The stand - number 2 - will be placed at the Green Zone of IFEMA, within the Science & Innovation area. Come & visit us!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Seite vermittelt dieses Video einen Überblick über diese internationale Forschungsinitiative, die sich für künstlichen Photosynthese und damit für eine nachhaltige Zukunft einsetzt:
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Ideas on this and other key research matters were discussed during ISF-3/ICARP2019 in Hiroshima, Japan.
Check out the main takeaways from the event & find out which SUNRISE partners&supporters attended: https://buff.ly/2OoQzuh
 
Artur Braun
added a research item
On 27 September 2019, a workshop for the Swiss stakeholders for the SUNRISE flagship project was held at Empa in Dübendorf. The workshop had the aim of community building and was attended by over 30 participants from Switzerland, France, and South Africa. The secondary purpose of the workshop was the inclusion of the previously competing ENERGY-X flagship project into a future joint project from SUNRISE and ENERGY-X. The workshop program had 20 technical presentations including posters, a panel discussion and an interactive session.
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
JOIN US on the trip to a clean EU energy landscape & register NOW!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Check out the highlights of our coordinator Huub de Groot's participation at the Solar-to-products symposium!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
SUNRISE coordinator Huub de Groot and deputy coordinator Hervé Bercegol took part in our supporter's CO2 Value Europe Day in Rotterdam on November 5. Grasp more about the main outcomes of the event!
 
Artur Braun
added an update
Empa - the place where innovation starts
Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.
Our Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics (LHPC) has an opening for a
Postdoctoral Researcher in the Field of Proton conductivity in epitaxial strained thin films
for a 3-year cross-disciplinary project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, in collaboration with University of California at Davis, United States, and University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute in Shanghai, China.
Your tasks
  • Synthesize and measure ultrathin metal oxide proton conductors on single crystal substrates and investigate their structure and charge transport properties under solid oxide fuel cell operation conditions and assist in extending the polaron theory,
  • write manuscripts for publication, 
  • present results at conferences.
Your profile
We are looking for a highly motivated, ambitious and self-driven Physicist with a sound background in solid-state thin film physics and theory. You must have a doctoral degree and should have preferably some years of postdoctoral experience in
  • Ultrathin film characterization with x-rays, neutrons, electroanalytical methods
  • Transport processes, solid state Ionics, polaron theory
as demonstrated by a competitive and convincing publication record. A fluent oral and written command in English and effective communication skills are mandatory as well as readiness for frequent international travel.
We offer this postdoc position at a research institution in Dübendorf, very close to Zürich, Switzerland, with excellent infrastructure and interdisciplinary environment. The position is available upon agreement but should be filled by no later than April 1, 2020. The contract will be limited initially to two years with a performance based possibility of extension of a third year.
For further information about the position please contact Dr Artur Braun artur.braun@empa.ch and visit our websites www.empa.ch/web/s201 and Empa-Video
We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.
Empa, Patricia Nitzsche, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
After a week of a tight race between the two proposals, we can finally announce our winning name: SUN-ERGY!
A BIG THANK YOU to all the people who took part in the poll -your opinion is key to build a clean-energy Europe!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
What is the link between neutral climate and renewable fuels? Are all clean fuels equally beneficial? Find out more about solar fuels & don't miss our interview with Hélène Lepaumier,research engineer at ENGIE Laborelec and a SUNRISE consortium member: https://buff.ly/2Nw96Dg
 
Artur Braun
added an update
Today at a press conference several ministers of the government of Germany announced a national hydrogen strategy.
"Wasserstoff und Energiewende - Stakeholder-Konferenz zur nationalen Wasserstoffstrategie", u.a. mit Peter Altmaier (Bundeswirtschaftsminister, CDU), Andreas Scheuer (Bundesverkehrsminister, CSU), Michael Meister (Parlamentarischer Staatssekretär der Bundesministerin für Bildung und Forschung, CDU) und Gerd Müller (Bundesentwicklungsminister, CSU)
Germany wants to bring 60’000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the german roads by 2021/2022. The ministers said they think of Germany exporting H2 infrastructure technology to other countries. And they expect Europe to be too small for producing the necessary H2 here in Europe. They said they anticipate that Africa and Australia will produce the renewable hydrogen fuels and ship it to Europe in return for the technology ...
 
Amelia Ochoa
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VOTE NOW the most suitable name for our upcoming joint initiative with ENERGY-X
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Which of these 2 options is the most suitable name for ENERGY-X and SUNRISE upcoming joint initiative?
VOTE by next Monday, November 4 -your opinion is key for us to build a climate neutral EU!
 
Artur Braun
added a research item
On 27 September 2019, a workshop for the Swiss stakeholders for the SUNRISE flagship project was held at Empa in Dübendorf. The workshop had the aim of community build- ing and was attended by over 30 participants from Switzerland, France, and South Africa. The secondary purpose of the workshop was the inclusion of the previously competing ENERGY-X flagship project into a future joint project from SUNRISE and ENERGY-X. The workshop program had 20 technical presenta- tions including posters, a panel discussion and an interactive session.
Rita Toth
added an update
The Report of the interactive workshop on „Society, environment and landscape: Refining the system view“ held during the SUNRISE Swiss Stakeholder Workshop at Empa, Dübendorf, Sept. 27th, 2019 is available now:
It's written by Astrid Björnsen (WSL), Anna Roschewitz (novatlantis) and Cornelia Moser (novatlantis).
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
How do we move towards a sustainable production of fuels & chemicals in Europe? Check out
ENERGY-X initiative's research roadmap: a result of the integrated knowledge of 180+ scientists across Europe and a key step to engage the whole community towards building a climate neutral EU
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Algae-based advanced biofuels represent an emerging field with a great potential, but where innovation is still necessary to achieve full deployment and economies of scale.
👇Check out our wrap-up post about the EABA - European Algae Biomass Association's last workshop held in Brussels:
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
If you can't be there in person make sure you follow 👉@pierre_ceccaldi on Twitter for the play-by-play! https://buff.ly/316VDHX
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
👀Check our our second trimester highlights & help us find the name for our next joint initiative with ENERGY-X!
 
Amelia Ochoa
added an update
☀️SUNRISE is holding different national stakeholder workshops throughout this year of initiative to further shape our local communities.
➡️Check out the highlights of some of them like the Polish event, organized on June 5-6 in Warsaw by our partner the University of Warsaw! buff.ly/2nPLDUX
➡️Fbook album: https://buff.ly/2nS6xmh
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Check these out NOW & join our initiative!
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Learn more about the link between renewable energy & this economic system with our partner Nicola Armaroli from CNR!
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Check out the event's programme & follow @lrese_epfl on Twitter to get the highlights of the sessions: https://buff.ly/2ArewcU
 
Amelia Ochoa
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1. What does 🔄'circular economy' stand for?
2. Why is it important?
3. How can we incorporate it in our daily lives?
Check out the answers to these questions in our freshly released infographics!➡️https://buff.ly/2mGhZQU
 
Amelia Ochoa
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▶️ Che cos'è la fotosintesi artificiale? Come ci potrebbe aiutare per avere un futuro sostenibile? 🌞🌱♻️🌍
Se vuoi essere un change maker unisciti alla nostra communità diventando un sostenitore!👉https://buff.ly/34Ua7Nx
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Mieux que n'importe quelle page «qui sommes nous», cette vidéo vous donne une vue d'ensemble de cette initiative de recherche internationale visant à faire de la photosynthèse artificielle une réalité pour un avenir durable.
À voir dès maintenant ! Vous pouvez également vous impliquer en devenant supporter et suivez-nous sur nos réseaux sociaux ! https://youtu.be/D1PXgzDdYEk
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Learn more about our preparatory action for a sustainable future & A-LEAF - a European project towards an artificial leaf🌱 with 🔬researchers Julio Lloret-Fillol & José Ramón Galán-Mascarós from our partner ICIQ - Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia: https://buff.ly/2MYjh5I
 
Artur Braun
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One of the three SUNRISE approaches for energy conversion is the use of biological and bio-derived components.
While it would be interesting to have entirely biological factory plants that produce the fuels and chemicals from sunlight, we are not even there halfway, although the idea is over 100 years old since Giacomo Ciamician at University of Bologna.
Meanwhile, researchers are combining the inorganic world and materials with biological motifs to get some workable results.
Here is a new work from Elena Rozhkova and colleagues from Argonne National Laboratory, a SUNRISE Supporter in the United States.
Specifically, bacteriorhodopsin - a bio proton pump - in purple bacterial mebranes are combined with standard metal oxide nanoparticles and noble metal catalysts for the photosynthetic reduction of the CO2 greenhouse gas:
"Semi-Artificial Photosynthetic CO2 Reduction Through Purple Membrane Re-engineering with Semiconductor"
The paper has just been published in JACS
 
Artur Braun
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For a new generation of scientists to grow, it needs students who believe their work can have impact, and role models who show that it works that way.
One way for this to show is continued original quality work, which is for example reflected by a large number of citations by the science community, or other metrics.
Michael Grätzel, Professor of Chemistry at EPFL in Swiss Lausanne, a SUNRISE Supporter, and pioneer of solar energy conversion, particularly dye sensitized solar cells, is one such example over which many young people in the world felt inspired and have decided to begin to study the difficult and hard topic of chemistry and become chemists.
Large scale research projects such as SUNRISE, and Energy-X, depend on people who follow the path of performance and give the best.
According to a novel science impact assessment metrics
- covering a whole range of different scientific fields - developed at Stanford University - Professor Grätzel ranks #1 in the list of 100’000 top scientists in the world, out of a list of a total of over 7 million scientists:
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Artur Braun
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Dr. Jospeh Simfukwe from University of Pretoria in South Africa, and Copperbelt University in Sambia, plus co-authors - got his DFT study “Exploring the stability and electronic properties of Zn-doped hematite surfaces for photoelectrochemical water splitting” just published in Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, Volume 136, January 2020, 109159.
University of Pretoria is a SUNRISE Supporter. South Africa as associated country is eligible for participation in the Horizon 2020 Programm of the European Commission.
 
Artur Braun
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In 2008 I visited for the first time the Morteratsch glacier in Switzerland.
This week, I went there again. As you can see from my attached photo, the remainders of the Glaciers are some 100s meters away from the spot where I made the photo.
10 years ago, this place here was still covered with the “eternal” ice.
20’000 years ago, this ice layer was over 1’000 meters thick, 1 kilometer thick. Since, it has melted steadily. The glacier disappears. It’s almost gone.
Now, vegetation - see the yellow flower in the other photo - is claiming territory for growth and new population.
10 years from now, I hope SUNRISE and Energy-X will have made progress with decentralized renewable energy deployment in Europe and elsewhere.
We’re working on it ...
 
Artur Braun
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Today, South Korean “Yonhap News Agency” writes that South Korean President will have his administration drive H2 fuel cell cars.
“Moon moved from one office building to another inside the presidential compound in the Nexo crossover SUV, produced by Hyundai Motor, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Moon chose it as a presidential car in a demonstration of his resolve to do his best for the growth of the hydrogen economy and efforts to tackle fine dust air pollution, Cheong Wa Dae said.
"(His decision) shows that hydrogen economy is part of our life, not a distant future," it added."
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Don't miss our latest post on partner Artur Braun's experience with our supporter University of Pretoria in South Africa! https://buff.ly/321xouG
 
Laura Lopez Suarez
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📢 Officially announced today at #Europacat2019,
@ENERGYX_PROJECT
&
@sunriseaction
to work together towards a broader initiative! Stay tuned more information coming soon!
 
Artur Braun
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Some SUNRISE partners and supporters travelled last week to South Africa for various conferences, including the 70th ISE Conference in Durban.
As a matter of fact, SUNRISE Supporter Kenneth Ozeomena from U Witwatersrand is this time the ISE 70 Meeting Chair!
On such occasions I buy local newspapers.
Here is a front page of the Business Report from the KZN (KwaZulu Natal) NETWORK newspaper with a report on the Mtuba Mall, 200 km north of Durban.
It is somewhat far away and also dependent on the electric grid of power giant ESCOM. South Africa is a very good example for a country with many scatttered settlements which are not connected to the electric grid. This is not withstanding that the South Africa communication system is very good because of their satellite technology. Now, solutions for decentralised power supply are demanded.
Mtuba Mall thus decided to try an alternative and rented PV panels at low premium for their electricity, rather then buying and investing in them at high cost.
KZN NETWORK, Business Report, Wednesday August 7, 2019.
 
Artur Braun
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While we SUNRISERs are working on new technologies that should help meet the targests of the so-called Paris Agreement, there are also conservative ways to fight global warming.
This week the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/05/climate/trees-forests-climate-change.html and other major newspapers point to a report “The global tree restoration potential" which was recently published in https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76/tab-pdf
The study was done by four research groups in Zürich, Rome, and Montpellier.
Given that huge areas of tropical rainforest in South America, Africa and Asia have been cut down for the goodies we like in Europe, Northern America etc., I think it is a good idea to plant more trees.
Yesterday on my way back from a Swiss company that helps making gas stations fit for renewable energy - I drove there with our Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell car (which however produced no CO2 for the trees around) - I made a brake in the Black Forest under a huge old green tree. Below is what I saw when taking a rest laying on the grass:
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Check out what we've done during the first 3 months of the project & more!
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Do not worry - we've prepared a special wrap-up for you 😎👇
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Happy to announce that our poster won the ‘Best Poster Award’ at the 17th International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization!
Thanks to the organizers for giving us the opportunity to showcase our initiative & to Hélène Lepaumier from ENGIE for her great presentation! 👏
 
Artur Braun
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Artur Braun
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This week we have 35ºC and sunshine in Switzerland. A wonderful hot sunny summer is coming.
Watch this: the flowers of my Echinocereus Boyce-thompsonii from the Sonora desert in Arizona come out in my garden, shiny purple.
That’s natural photosynthesis.
I knew they were coming if there was just enough sunshine ...
 
Artur Braun
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Rita Toth today sent me a link to a another weird study on alternative computing as they usually comming from the University of the West of England in Bristol (UWE); now directly addressing electrochemical energy conversion as it fits in SUNRISE.
By the way, UWE is a SUNRISE Supporter.
Design mining microbial fuel cell cascades” in Soft Computing by
Richard J. Preen · Jiseon You · Larry Bull · Ioannis A. Ieropoulos
 
Artur Braun
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If anyone ever wondered why I disappeared and skipped the afternoon session of the SUNRISE Stakeholders’ Meeting Monday 17 June 2019 in Bruxelles, here’s why:
The Deutsche Energie-Agentur held an event with the Global Alliance for Powerfuels at the same time in Bruxelles, only 2 km away from our SUNRISE meeting. And I wanted to learn there about their view on small scale renewable ammonia production for fertiliser.
Unintentionally I got a speaker position there and I used the opportunity to make the audience aware of the SUNRISE EU project, which was happening nearby.
Here on one photo you see me pointing my finger to the SUNRISE Badge on my chest. I told them I went to Bruxelles for two missions that day … .
 
Artur Braun
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Here is the Swiss Cowbell with the SUNRISE project memento on the occasion of my visit to Mersin University in Turkey in June 2019.
I have brought similar memento to my projects at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, University of Pretoria in South Africa, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in Korea, and in 2017 to Yonsei University in Korea.
 
Artur Braun
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Artur Braun from Empa and Selma Erat from Mersin University visit Tarsus University Rector and Professors to present the EU SUNRISE Action project, 12 June 2019.
Mersin Üniversitesi ziyaret Tarsus Üniversitesi Rektörü ve Profesör fare EU SUNRISE Eylem proje sunacak, 2019 12 Haziran.
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Tomorrow we'll kickoff our Stakeholder Workshop in Brussels! Check out our final agenda & follow the live discussions on the governance and innovation plans of the future initiative by tracking the hashtag #Sun_EUSEW19
 
Artur Braun
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Artur Braun had a hilarious week at Mersin and Mersin University and also Tarsus University, all in Turkey, where he introduced the SUNRISE project:
and prepared new other Swiss and EU research projects with Turkey.
 
Amelia Ochoa
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Better than any “who we are”-page, this video brings you the big picture of this international research initiative working to make artificial photosynthesis a reality. Watch it NOW & Share it OUT!
 
Artur Braun
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shot in Bologna, made in Tarragona
*** a new video will come up soon***
Maybe for the viewer. The video was shot in the library of CNR in Bologna. From the top, on the map this library looks large and round and when you look above from the inside with the windows on the top - it looks like a synchrotron.
 
Artur Braun
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Yesterday we had the first day of Symposium A “Latest Advances in Solar Fuels” at the E-MRS in Nizza in France:
In the evening there was a poster session; we had a dozen outstanding posters and it was not easy to identify the best one. In the end we decided that a poster from Toyota should win the prize:
Ni-modified β-FeOOH(Cl) nanorod for water oxidation toward solar-driven CO2 reduction system combined with Mn-complex catalyst
Authors : Tomiko M. Suzuki, Takeo Arai, Shunsuke Sato, Keita Sekizawa, *Takeshi Morikawa
Affiliations : Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc.
Resume : The development of catalysts incorporating earth abundant elements for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is important for the artificial photosynthesis to generate useful chemicals such as hydrogen and organic compounds. Here, we report a highly crystalline, 10 nm-sized red rust OER catalyst composed of pure β-phase FeOOH(Cl) nanorods doped with Ni ions (β-FeOOH:Ni) [1] and surface-modified with amorphous Ni(OH)2, which can be synthesized by a facile one-pot process at room temperature. An electrode composed of β-FeOOH:Ni/Ni(OH)2 nanorods, in which there is interaction between Fe atoms and Ni species, generates an OER current of 10 mA/cm2 at an overpotential of 430 mV in 0.1 M KOH (without subtracting the iR drop). This performance is superior to those exhibited by Fe-rich oxide and oxyhydroxide catalysts [2]. We subsequently demonstrated photoelectrochemical CO2 to CO reduction with 3.4 % solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency by combination with earth-abundant catalysts; the β-FeOOH:Ni/a-Ni(OH)2 catalyst and a Mn-complex polymer for CO2 reduction [3] were connected with polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells around neutral pH in a single-compartment reactor [4]. References [1] T. M. Suzuki, et al., Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, 1, 636-643, [2] T. M. Suzuki, et al., Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn., 2018, 91, 778-786, [3] S. Sato, et al., ACS Catal., 2018, 8, 4452-4458, [4] T. Arai, et al., Chem.Commun., 2019, 55, 237-240
ButI think the authors were not there this morning today to pick up their prize :-)