Welcome to Solar Fuels and Artificial Leaf Umeå Website

World demand for energy is rapidly increasing and is projected to more than double by 2050. This – together with the ongoing climate change – makes the development of devices and procedures for renewable production of carbon neutral fuels one of today’s major scientific challenges. At Umeå University we have formed two interdisciplinary research platforms, the ‘Strong Research Environment Solar Fuels’ and the ‘Artificial Leaf Project Umeå’ that address these challenges. Our research team consists currently of 36 scientists from the fields of physics, chemistry, and biology that all work within the Chemical Biological Centre of Umeå University. The projects strongly utilizes the synergy effects arising from the direct daily interactions among this interdisciplinary group.

The Solar Fuels Strong Research Environment at Umeå University was formed in 2010 and is supported until 2015 by a 7 MSEK grant of Umeå University. The primary aims are to reveal in detail those processes that are of importance to understand how light is absorbed and converted into energy forms that can be used by man. We explore both natural systems as well as create devices in a model scale, partly mimicking or even improving the natural photosynthetic machineries, for the production of usable energy.

The ‘Artificial Leaf Project Umeå’ was formed in 2011 and is supported until 2016 by a 40,3 MSEK grant of the the Wallenberg Foundation. In this project we develop a leaf-like membrane that, when immersed in water and exposed to sun light, will split water and evolve oxygen on one side, and hydrogen on the other. Such an ‘artificial leaf’ opens the road for cheap off-grid fuel production that allows powering houses, cars and small transportable devices.