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Course catalogue

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Master SERP+ Programme - cohort 2020-2025

Chemistry for renewable energy: from advanced research to industrial applications (6 ECTS)


Part I : Chemical energy storage at the industrial level
Overview of energy situation, The hydrogen economy, Water electrolysis technologies, Hydrogen purification, transport and storage, Fuel Cells, Other chemical energy vectors
Part II : Recent development toward Artificial Photosynthesis
Using light to store energy within molecules, Hydrogen as a fuel, CO2 as an energy carrier, Dioxygen reduction, Artificial photosynthesis


Part I: Chemical energy storage at the industrial level
To overview the energy situation, to provide a summary of engineering tools (technical and economical) required for analyzing practical cases, to describe the energy economy, to provide an overview of power-to-gas issues, to provide elements for SWOT analysis, to review other chemical energy vectors.

Part II: Recent development toward Artificial Photosynthesis
To explain how nature succeeds in converting sunlight into chemical energy and how it can be a source of inspiration for chemists, to review some of the enzymes are able to activate very simple molecules and to describe their active site, to explain how molecular catalysts have been designed to equal the activiy of these enzymes, to provide analytic tools (energetics, orbitals, mechanism) to discuss the relation between structure and activity of the molecular catalysts, to review some supramolecular photocatalysts designed by chemists to achieve half of the artificial photosynthesis process, to explain their weakness and strength, to stress on the challenges that yet need to be overcome to achieve a full artificial photosynthesis and thus generate solar fuels in a environmental respectfull way.



Inorganic chemistry, Electrochemistry, Chemical kinetics, Thermodynamics, Thermochemistry, Spectroscopy

Recommended Books
  • Electrochemistry, C.H. Hamann, A. Hamnett, W. Vielstich, Wiley-VCH, 1998
  • PEM Fuel CElls, Theory and Practice, Frano Barbir, Elsevier, 2001
  • PEM water Electrolysis, D. Bessarabov, P. Millet, Elsevier, 2017
  • Biological Inorganic Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity, Harry B. Gray, Edward I. Stiefel Joan Selverstone Valentine Ivano Bertini, University Science Books: Sausalito, CA, 2007. 739 pp. ISBN 978-1891389436
  • Activation of Small Molecules, W. B. Tolman, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, 2006. 382 pp ISBN: 978-3-527-31312-9
  • Note: Some basic understanding of EPR spectroscopy is needed and won’t be detailed within this course. Visit this website: https://www.weizmann.ac.il/chemphys/EPR_group/eprcourse
  • Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, Victor Chechik, Emma Carter and Damien Murphy, Oxford Chemistry Primers, 2016, ISBN 10: 0198727607


Teaching Staff

Ally Aukauloo
Pierre Millet
Loïc Assaud


Lecture and Tutorials: 34.5 h
CEA visits: 8h

Grading System

Exams 85%
Multiple choice questions test related to industrial visits 15%