The Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES), is a joint research unit with a partnership between the French National Research Council (CNRS) and the University of Strasbourg (UdS). The Institute is located at the campus of Cronenbourg in the European School of Chemistry, Polymers and Materials (ECPM) and benefits from high research standards and facilities in the fields of chemistry, physics and material sciences.
The Institute is composed by more than a hundred of scientists concerned by the development of advanced research related to energy, environment and health. The complementarities of the various research teams contribute to solve global issues ranging from molecules design, properties, and applications in useful devices, sensors or catalytic processes. At the forefront of new technologies and the development of innovative materials, the Institute is organized in four research departments:
In the field of energy, research focuses on the use of biomass and the production of sulfur- and aromatic free fuels produced from carbon monoxide and hydrogen mixture by the Fischer-Tropsch process. Alternatively, research also focuses on the development of high performance fuel cells, photovoltaic solar cells and the production of hydrogen by water splitting. A major concern the chemical and electrochemical storage of energy which represents a challenge for the future development of renewable energy pools. Most of these advanced research projects rely on the production of innovative nanomaterials and/or composites such as pure or doped carbon nanomaterials and/or oxides, porous ceramics, pre-organized molecular platforms and semiconductive polymers.
Another important issue concerns the environment. The development of biopolymers extracted from plants or produced from them by enzymatic catalysis also open new perspectives for novel biomaterials, fuel production and specific catalytic processes. On the other hand innovative catalytic processes are concerned by combustion processes and the reduction of gaseous products. Research projects are also actively conducted at ICPEES in the field of atmospheric pollutants and their environmental impact in home air quality and in specific ecosystems. Highly sensitive detectors for the diagnostic of indoor atmospheric quality have been engineered in order to reduce the detection limits and to find the source of pollution.
Part of the research conducted at ICPEES is also devoted to health, including the development of functional materials based on nano-fibers for the repair of living tissues such as skin or bone. The use of microfluidic processes for the preparation of small molecules and polymers allows the production of structured microparticles for the controlled drug release and the detection of trace of pollutants. At this stage we might also mention the engineering of nanostructured materials based on titanium oxide semiconductor for the development of artificial retina or some organic platforms for advanced diagnostic of specific cancers.
Another facet of the Institute concerns the education of a hundred of students (Master degree, engineers, PhD, postdocs) who are finding jobs in national and international industries. All research teams are developing industrial collaboration and networks with SMEs and large industrial companies. Worldwide international collaborations were established in the field of materials for energy, energy storage, environmental protection and health.