Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are a possible alternative to traditional solar energy technologies. Organic dyes such as porphyrins seem to be an especially promising option as a sensitizer due to their characteristic Soret band and smaller Q-bands in the visible spectrum. Protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) is a naturally occurring porphyrin found in sources such as hemoglobin, chlorophyll, and brown eggshells. PPIX exhibits a typical porphyrin absorbance spectrum, and the carboxylic acid substituents make it ideal for direct attachment to the TiO2 of the DSSC. The purpose of the research project is to extract PPIX at a high enough concentration from brown eggshells that it can be purified using a fast protein liquid chromatography system (FPLC) and used as a sensitizer in DSSCs. This semester’s work has focused on optimizing a purification method for the PPIX and using the FPLC to automate the process. Because the core of the extracted PPIX has no metal, the secondary goal of this research is to place different metals in the core in order to determine which metal maximally intensifies the Soret and Q-bands in the panchromatic solar energy spectrum.
Overway, Ken; Studtmann, Carleigh; and Varner, Taylor, "Extraction of PPIX from Brown Eggshells for Use in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells" (2018). Chemistry Faculty Scholarship. 9.