Award was granted by the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (ABIQUIM) during the 28th National Meeting of the Chemical Sector (ENAIQ)
Work conducted in the area of green hydrogen by the scientist Flávio Leandro de Souza of the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) was selected to win the 2023 Kurt Politzer Technology and Innovation Prize.
The award was presented on December 4 and is an initiative of the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (ABIQUIM) intended to identify, recognize, and encourage exceptional projects in scientific research and technological excellence in the chemical sector which are carried out by companies, startups, and researchers in Brazil. The organization, which was founded in 1964, brings together companies of all sizes as well as providers of services in the areas of logistics, transport, waste management, and emergency services.
The award itself, which involves a variety of criteria such as degree of innovation, potential impact on competitiveness and productivity, and contributions to sustainable development, was named in homage to Kurt Politzer, a chemist and professor in this area who collaborated with ABIQUIM for approximately 30 years. Politzer is also considered one of the most important characters in the history of chemistry in Brazil.
Souza’s work at the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano/CNPEM) involved developing a new generation of low-carbon technology to produce hydrogen using sunlight, water, and materials that are affordable and environmentally friendly. The study was published in journals such as Sustainable Energy & Fuels and Materials Today Energy, and involved producing a prototype photoelectrolysis device that utilized hematite and modifying elements to reach a high degree of efficiency.
“The prize from ABIQUIM was a pleasant surprise and crowning achievement for this group effort that involved people who worked both directly and indirectly but were equally important to attain this outcome. Our 100% Brazilian technology adds yet another alternative to the domestic portfolio for creating solutions to mitigate the emission of carbon dioxide in the environment,” notes Souza.
The Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (ABIQUIM) is a non-profit entity founded on June 16, 1964 and brings together large, medium, and small-scale chemical manufacturers as well as providers of services to this sector in the areas of logistics, transport, waste management, and emergency services.
The association is structured to perform statistical monitoring of the sector, and promotes specific studies on the activities and products of the chemical industry, tracks changes in legislation, and advises its member companies on economic, technical, and foreign trade-related issues.
To meet the demands of the chemical sector, ABIQUIM also has projects by its sectoral and thematic committees comprised of representatives from member companies and professionals from the association itself who support and carry out activities.
ABIQUIM is responsible for coordinating the Atuação Responsável® Program, as well as administering ABNT/CB 10, the Brazilian Technical Standards Committee for the area of chemistry
A sophisticated and effervescent environment for research and development, unique in Brazil and present in few scientific centers in the world, the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) is a private non-profit organization, under the supervision of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). The Center operates four National Laboratories and is the birthplace of the most complex project in Brazilian science – Sirius – one of the most advanced synchrotron light sources in the world. CNPEM brings together highly specialized multi-thematic teams, globally competitive laboratory infrastructures open to the scientific community, strategic lines of investigation, innovative projects in partnership with the productive sector and training of researchers and students. The Center is an environment driven by the search for solutions with impact in the areas of Health, Energy and Renewable Materials, Agro-environment, and Quantum Technologies. As of 2022, with the support of the Ministry of Education (MEC), CNPEM expanded its activities with the opening of the Ilum School of Science. The interdisciplinary higher course in Science, Technology and Innovation adopts innovative proposals with the aim of offering excellent, free, full-time training with immersion in the CNPEM research environment. Through the CNPEM 360 Platform, it is possible to explore, in a virtual and immersive way, the main environments and activities of the Center, visit: https://pages.cnpem.br/cnpem360/.