Norbornadienes for Solar Thermal Energy Storage and New Applications
Doctoral thesis, 2019

The energy demand worldwide is steadily increasing, therefore it is fundamental to efficiently utilise renewable energy resources. Energy storage technologies are partic- ularly relevant in order to be able to exploit renewable energy resources such as solar energy, since these are typically intermittent and not evenly distributed. The work presen- ted in this thesis is focused on trying to optimise norbornadiene-quadricyclane systems to harness and store solar energy. Norbornadienes are able to absorb light, and undergo photoinduced isomerization to the high energy isomer quadricyclane, which is stable over time. When quadricyclanes back isomerise to norbornadienes they release the absorbed energy as heat. This technology is called “molecular solar thermal”, or MOST. Differ- ent features need to be optimised in order to utilise norbornadiene-quadricyclane pho- toswitches for MOST applications. In my work I focused on synthesising new norbor- nadienes, characterising their molecular and spectroscopic properties, and trying to op- timise them for energy storage purposes. In particular I focused on identifying specific structure-properties relationship that allow selectively engineering the kinetic stability of quadricyclanes, to achieve longer storage times. This was in fact achieved in a series of norbornadienes by selectively increasing the entropy of activation to the back isomeriza- tion. A small device was also built, in order to test a hybrid technology that would combine MOST and solar water heating. These laboratory-scale experiments were particularly in- structive in demonstrating the potential of MOST systems, and learning about the future challenges. Liquid, neat norbornadienes were also made, and their properties assessed. They retained the ability to photoisomerise and back convert in neat samples, but new challenges arose, such as stability over multiple cycles and storage times. Moreover, the use of a norbornadiene-quadriyclane photoswitch as a molecular keypad lock is demon- strated.

thermal energy storage

molecular logic

Solar energy

molecular switch- es

energy conversion

quadricyclane

molecular keypad locks

norbornadiene

10an, Kemigården 4, Chalmers
Opponent: Ass. Prof. Ivan Aprahamian, Dartmouth University, New Hampshire, USA

Author

Ambra Dreos

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Kasper Moth-Poulsen Group

Three-Input Molecular Keypad Lock Based on a Norbornadiene-Quadricyclane Photoswitch

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters,; Vol. 9(2018)p. 6174-6178

Journal article

Liquid Norbornadiene Photoswitches for Solar Energy Storage

Advanced Energy Materials,; Vol. 8(2018)

Journal article

Unraveling factors leading to efficient norbornadiene-quadricyclane molecular solar-thermal energy storage systems

Journal of Materials Chemistry A,; Vol. 5(2017)p. 12369-12378

Journal article

The energy demand worldwide is steadily increasing, which is impacting dramatically the global environment. It is fundamental to efficiently utilise renewable energy resources. Energy storage technologies are particularly relevant in order to be able to exploit renewable energy resources such as solar and wind energy, since these are typically intermittent and not evenly distributed. The work presented in this thesis is focused on trying to optimise the organic molecular switch norbornadiene-quadricyclane to harness and store solar energy. Norbornadienes are able to absorb light, and when they do it they change to the high energy quadricyclanes, which are stable over time. When quadricyclanes back isomerise to norbornadienes they release the absorbed energy as heat. This technology is called “molecular solar thermal”, or MOST. In my work I focused on synthesising new norbornadienes, characterising their properties, and trying to optimise them for energy storage purposes. In particular I focused on identifying ways to achieve longer storage times. This was in fact achieved in a series of norbornadienes by selectively increasing a parameter called entropy of activation. A small device was also built, in order to test a hybrid technology that would combine MOST and solar water heating. Testing a norbornadiene in a real device was particularly instructive in demonstrating the potential of MOST systems, and learning about the future challenges. For the first time liquid MOST materials based on norbornadienes were made, which are important for MOST technologies based on circulation of liquids. Moreover, the use of a norbornadiene-quadriyclane photoswitch as a molecular keypad lock (where only a unique set of inputs can give a specific output) was demonstrated.

Molecular Solar Thermal Systems

Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), 2014-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Energy Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Sciences

Organic Chemistry

Areas of Advance

Energy

Materials Science

ISBN

978-91-7597-859-8

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4540

Publisher

Chalmers University of Technology

10an, Kemigården 4, Chalmers

Opponent: Ass. Prof. Ivan Aprahamian, Dartmouth University, New Hampshire, USA

More information

Latest update

1/23/2019