THE PROJECT

The project aims to build a disruptive scenario for solar energy storage and solar fuels production. The Climate-Clock is running fast towards the irreversible threshold of 1.5° temperature increase. PLANKT-ON mission is to add time to the Clock, thanks to a multi-faceted approach.
This method would be faster than any biological cycle and complementary to other renewable energy technologies, including photovoltaics, solar thermal, and photo-electrochemical cells as artificial leaf devices.

The project aims to build a disruptive scenario for solar energy storage and solar fuels production. The Climate-Clock is running fast towards the irreversible threshold of 1.5° temperature increase. PLANKT-ON mission is to add time to the Clock, thanks to a multi-faceted approach. This method would be faster than any biological cycle and complementary to other renewable energy technologies, including photovoltaics, solar thermal, and photo-electrochemical cells as artificial leaf devices. To this aim, the plankton-like protocells will be shaped as containers of two synergic subdomains mimicking the natural plastids and the CO2-enzyme organelles. The artificial plastid (1st type proto-organelle) will utilise light to oxidise H2O to O2 and reduce a methyl viologen (MV) cofactor, this latter will feed the CO2-rich proto-organelle to selectively produce formate by a cascade enzymatic reaction. We are expecting that this original bioinspired strategy will open a route to sustainable solar hydrogen. The long term impact is envisaged for scientific innovation in groundbreaking solar-technology, going beyond the conventional photoelectrochemical cabled asset, and readily exploitable for empowering the EU vision for “Smart Buildings as Micro-Energy Hubs” in the world.

PLANKT-ON PEOPLE

Meet the interdisciplinary Consortium of world-leading research centers and the SME. We count on a broad diversity of skills and technologies: from structural biology, (AI)-guided bio morphology imaging, chemical synthesis, nanotechnology, photo physics, photocatalysis, reactor engineering. The PLANKT-ON seven Work Packages, with interconnected Tasks, will set the basis for the next generation artificial photosynthesis.

INSTM: Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali, Research Unit of Padova (Italy)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Marcella Bonchio
Expertise: Artificial Photosynthesis

CEA: Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomiqueet aux Énergies Alternatives (France)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Giovanni Finazzi
Expertise: Molecular Biology+ AI (Artificial intelligence)

CIC BIOMAGUNE: Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biomateriales (Spain)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Maurizio Prato
Expertise: Organic Synthesis

UNIVBRIS: University of Bristol (UK)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Stephen Mann
Expertise: Biomimetic Network

INSTM: Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali, Research Unit of Trieste (Italy)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Pierangelo Gobbo 
Expertise: Protocell Fabrication

ENPHOS (Italy)

A young Italian company active in the field
of renewable energy and hydrogen.
CEO: Dr. Luigi Migliorini
Expertise: industrial Application

POLIMI: Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Margherita Maiuri
Expertise: Photophysics

PLANKT-ON Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

We are honoured that renowned scientists have accepted to be PLANKT-ON’s external scientific advisors, including: Prof. Greg Scholes from Princeton University (USA), specialist on ultrafast spectroscopy; Prof. Kazunari Domen from University of Tokyo (Japan), specialist on particulate photocatalysts and multi-junction solar cells; Prof. Francesca Toma, Director of the Institute of Functional Materials for Sustainability Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Berlin (Germany), specialist on photocatalytic materials; Prof. Gábor Laurenczy from EPFL, Lausanne (Switzerland), expert in catalytic processing of FA as hydrogen vector.

LATEST NEWS

Check out the last article on Vanity Fair Italy!   Vanity Fair is talking about one of our partners, ENPHOS, as one of the 10 Italian startups that are helping the planet!Check out the article below (in Italian). “ENPHOS: experimenting with alternative ways to produce green […]
F. Rigodanza, A. Quadrelli, M. Bonchio et al. (2024). Combined Covalent and Supramolecular Polymerization to Reinforce Perylenebisimide Photosynthetic “Quantasomes”, Chem. Eur. J. 23/2024 Front Cover: https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.202401060Article: https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.202303784
A. Sartorel, M. Bonchio et al. (2023). A breath of sunshine: Oxygenic photosynthesis by functional molecular architectures, Chem. Science. The Front Cover: DOI: 10.1039/D3SC90222FThe Article: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2023/sc/d3sc03780k
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PLANKT-ON has received funding from the EU under grant agreement N° 101099192
© 2023 PLANKT-ON Project