The Prof. Bonacin and his group are focusing efforts in studies of fundamental problems in water splitting process. We are developing inorganic (nano)materials to applications in water oxidation through the electrochemical approach. We believe that the solutions must consider multidisciplinary skills, simplicity, objectivity, be sustainable and provide professional development. Because of this, our strategy spans inorganic synthesis, preparation of materials and characterization using spectroscopic and electrochemical tools.
Nowadays, the development of a viable alternative to fossil fuels is one of the big challenges of the governments and the scientific community. There is an estimate that world energetic consumption in the next 35 years may be almost double of the currently observed. Because of this, expansion of the energy matrix with fossil-based fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas can lead to human race to the collapse. Based on this scenario, it is indispensable to study alternative sources of energy to meet this demand. Many strategies for using renewable energy sources have been inspired by the natural photosynthetic system, where water can be used as a source of energy through the production of hydrogen and oxygen. Water Splitting Reaction (WSR) can be defined as the splitting of water in oxygen and hydrogen to produce energy and it is nowadays one of the most important research themes in chemistry.
The production of molecular oxygen at the anode is the most energy-intensive step in the overall WSR. The water oxidation reaction is both thermodynamically (E = - 1.229 V vs NHE) and kinetically demanding, and so requires a catalyst to be accomplished. Thus, the study of different artificial catalysts for water oxidation can help understand the properties of this reaction and create new possibilities of energy production.