Research database

SoFiA - Soap Film based Artificial Photosynthesis

49 months (2019 - 2022)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
UE-funded research - H2020 - Excellent Science - FET
Funding body:
Project identification number:


We propose a radical breakthrough by developing economically viable solar fuel production technology, exploiting the surfactant self-assembly & proton transport properties of soap films. Producing renewable solar fuel by Artificial Photosynthesis (AP) is globally recognized as a promising solution to modern energy & environmental crisis with decisive social impacts, but there are critical roadblocks in technology development. SoFiA aims to initiate & consolidate a baseline of feasibility for soap film based AP technology and its future uses by establishing the essential proofs-of principle & foundational scientific underpinnings. We propose the concept of an economic artificial photosynthetic membrane in form of soap film with photo-catalytic functional surfaces, formed at the junction between dis-symmetric soap bubble pairs. Our technology is made scalable by the design concept of a dynamic stream of regenerative soap bubbles capable of handling large volumes of gas, continuously flowing through a light exposed conduit. SoFiA bridges three mutually exclusive disciplines of surfactant science, renewable energy and fundamental science of water at nanoscale, supported by micro-systems engineering, and by actively engaging artists who are working with large soap film installations. The high risk is countered by engaging pioneering scientists and globally leading young researchers in an interdisciplinary research plan. An External Advisory Board composed of program managers from large industry and EU policy experts will guide the research deliverable towards commercial exploitation. Our long-term vision is to decisively alter Europes position in the world economic map as the leading green energy producer. Developed technology will be jointly exploited by European energy and detergent industries, kick-starting new ventures & production facilities. Major environmental impact is expected as SoFiA is devoted to transform the primary greenhouse gas (CO2) into fuel.

People involved



  • Uppsala Universitet


Total cost: € 3,205,280.00
Total contribution: € 3,205,280.00
PoliTo total cost: € 291,375.00
PoliTo contribution: € 291,375.00