Sunlight fueled chemistry

Sunlight fueled chemistry

As a society, we are currently facing two major challenges: the safeguarding of our future energy supply by the transfer from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources, and, the reduction of emission of the greenhouse gas CO2.

Only this way we can reach the objectives of the Paris climate agreement; limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5 °C in the 21st century and net zero CO2 emissions in 2050.

The Interreg project LUMEN addresses both challenges.

Like all other industries, the chemicals industry needs to transition from use of fossil fuels to sustainable energy, a good example of which is the electricity generated by wind turbines. LUMEN focuses on another source of sustainable energy – the sun. LUMEN is working intensively on a technology concept that will enable sunlight to be used directly as a ‘fuel’ for sustainable chemical processes.

The project addresses two major challenges – to switch from fossil fuels to sunlight as a sustainable source of energy, and to reduce CO2 emissions by using the CO2 as a starting material. The project will also investigate whether or not the concept of using sunlight in chemical processes can be used in ‘fine chemistry’, for the production of medicines for example, in a way that is easier and safer than the current standard.

Let us be inspired by nature to help make chemical processes sustainable and future-proof!

For more information, visit our website:

LUMEN is a project of TNO, Hasselt University, Zuyd University, Interuniversitair Microelectronics Center Leuven (IMEC), Innosyn and Ecosynth.

The project is supported by the Interreg Flanders-Netherlands program, the Dutch government, and the provinces of North-Brabant (NL), Limburg (NL and VL) and East Flanders (VL).