Energy and Environment Research Division (ENE).
Research at PSI comprises all aspects of human energy use, with the ultimate goal of promoting development towards a sustainable energy supply system. Technologies are being advanced for the utilization of renewable energy sources, low-loss energy storage, efficient conversion, and low emission energy use. Experimental and model-based assessment of these emissions forms the basis of a comprehensive assessment of economic, environmental and social consequences, for both present and future energy supply systems.
Division Head: Prof. Dr. Thomas Justus Schmidt
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing. It requires an approach, in which competences and capacities in research are combined across Switzerland to develop solutions for a transformation of our society towards net zero CO2 emissions.
Alexander Muroyama, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Electrochemistry Laboratory (LEC) at the Paul Scherrer Institute has successfully applied for the Ambizione Grant 2020 with his project “A novel process for electrochemical direct-air capture of CO2”.
Patrik Winiger, Research Grant Advisor and Project Manager at ETH Zurich, successfully applied for the Ambizione Grant 2020 with the project “Macromolecular Aerosols in the Cryosphere from the Arctic to the Alps – MACrAA”. The idea was developed together with the Laboratory for Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC) at PSI. The LAC is a global leader in aerosol analytics and source identification. They own and operate a unique laboratory infrastructure with various instruments and multiple aerosol simulation chambers available for researchers.
With its Energy Strategy 2050 Switzerland aims – beside other goals – to promote the use of domestic renewable energy and to develop the electricity power grid, which plays a decisive role in the upgrading of the system of electricity power supply. A lot of research needs to be done to achieve these ambitious goals. An important research project in this area is ReMaP and its status quo was presented at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI on 28 September.
As an international initiative, ICE MEMORY aims at collecting heritage ice cores from the world’s key endangered glaciers to store them under safe conditions and international governance in Antarctica for future generations of scientists.
Chemical changes inside of breathable airborne particles can cause reactive oxygen species (ROS) and carbon centered radicals (CCRs) to form, which are harmful to our bodies and induce oxidative stress in lungs. Using X-ray spectromicroscopy at the PolLux beamline and mimicking the environmental and sunlit conditions aerosol particles experience in the atmosphere near the Earth Surface, it was recently found that highly viscous organic particles with low water content can attain high concentrations of ROS and CCRs that persist over long times. Natural particles like these will occur in ambient humidity below 60% and effectively trap ROS and CCRs inside that react when exposed to light.
Platinum isolated atoms and clusters supported on molybdenum carbide have been characterized in situ by means of photoelectron spectroscopy. The presence of both species is essential to favor the stability, so that the catalysts displays high metal-normalized turnover number of 4,300,000 moles of hydrogen per mole of platinum during the water gas shift reaction.
Urs Baltensperger explains the background why it is absolutely necessary to wear masks in order to reduce the risk of beeing infected with Covid-19.
In the following you find the presentation and summary
Spätestens seit Corona ist der Maskengebrauch auch in der Schweiz im Alltag präsent. Doch wie gut können wir uns und andere mit verschieden Materialien vor kleineren und grösseren Partikeln schützen? Das alljährlich durchgeführte PSI Feriencamp bietet Kindern einen spannenden Einblick in die faszinierende Welt der Forschung. In diesem Jahr gingen Kinder an einer Projektstation genau dieser Frage nach. Dabei untersuchten sie, wie gut verschiedene Materialien die im Labor generierten Partikel zurückhalten. Es wurden Textilmasken (im Handel erhältlich, wiederverwendbar, nicht FFP2-zertifiziert), Chirurgenmasken (Einwegmasken, FFP2-zertifiziert), Teefilter, Kaffeefilter, Papiertaschentuch und WC-Papier getestet, und es wurde klar, Maske ist nicht gleich Maske.