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Green photochemistry: Production of fine chemicals with sunlight
Over the last few decades, the call for sustainable and environmentally friendly technologies has led to an increasing interest in green chemistry. Among the known green chemical approaches, organic photochemistry can serve as a valuable application since light is regarded as a clean and traceless reagent. Starting already in the 1990-ties we have used concentrated sunlight as an alternative and freely available light source for the solar chemical production of selected fine chemicals. This concept leads back to the beginnings of organic photochemistry in the late 19th century when sunlight was the only available source of radiation. In contrast to the often simple early equipment, today?s solar photochemical reactions are performed with modern solar reactors and moderately to highly concentrated sunlight which allow high time-space yields.
In collaboration with the Institut für Solarforschung im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Köln, and James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, we have realized a number of solar syntheses of which some representative examples are highlighted in an overview published by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

M. Oelgemöller, C. Jung, and J. Mattay, Pure Appl. Chem., 2007, 79, 1939–1947. [10.1351/pac200779111939]