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SoCalGas introduces STARS solar hydrogen generation system at California Air Resources Board Symposium

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SoCalGas) introduced an innovative new solar-powered hydrogen generation system during the California Air Resources Board Technology Expo and Symposium at the University of California, Riverside. The generation system uses sunlight to convert natural gas and water into hydrogen and capture the carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) to prevent carbon emissions. These chemicals trap and use the carbon that would otherwise be emitted. Southern California Gas Co.

2018 75

H2@Scale project launched in Texas; renewable hydrogen for multiple end-use applications

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The project is supported by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. It is first time that both sources of renewable hydrogen will be used in the same project. Frontier Energy, Inc.,

2020 132

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Rice U team creates low-cost, high-efficiency integrated device for solar-driven water splitting; solar leaf

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Rice University researchers have created an efficient, low-cost device that splits water to produce hydrogen fuel. The platform developed by the Brown School of Engineering lab of Rice materials scientist Jun Lou integrates catalytic electrodes and perovskite solar cells that, when triggered by sunlight, produce electricity. The current flows to the catalysts that turn water into hydrogen and oxygen, with a sunlight-to-hydrogen efficiency as high as 6.7%.

2020 69

DLR team integrates solar heat into solid oxide electrolyzer for highly efficient hydrogen production

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A team at Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) has successfully integrated solar heat into a solid oxide electrolyzer. The experimental setup of the prototype system consisted of a solar simulator, a solar steam generator, a steam accumulator and a solid oxide electrolyzer. Experimental setup of the solar heated solid oxide electrolyzer system for hydrogen production. 1 was produced with the solar steam generator.

2019 71

UK researchers use graphite to waterproof perovskite solar cells

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A cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable way of making hydrogen fuel from water using sunlight is closer with new research from the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies. The team used a commercial thermal graphite sheet and a mesoporous carbon scaffold to encapsulate metal-halide perovskites (CsPbBr 3 ) as an inexpensive and efficient waterproofing strategy. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar fuels

2019 83

SOLETAIR project produces first 200 liters of synthetic fuel from solar power and atmospheric CO2

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The SOLETAIR project ( earlier post ) has produced its first 200 liters of synthetic fuel from solar energy and the air’s carbon dioxide via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The mobile chemical pilot plant produces gasoline, diesel, and kerosene from regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The “Direct Air Capture” Unit developed by the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT) captures carbon dioxide from air.

2017 123

SOFC-maker Bloom Energy announces initial strategy for hydrogen market entry; partnership with SK

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Solid-oxide-fuel-cell manufacturer Bloom Energy is entering the commercial hydrogen market by introducing hydrogen-powered fuel cells and electrolyzers that produce renewable hydrogen. million hydrogen cars by 2040.

2020 124

Compact pilot plant for solar to liquid fuels production

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Partners from Germany and Finland in the SOLETAIR project are building a compact pilot plant for the production of gasoline, diesel and kerosene from solar energy, regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide. A direct air capture unit developed by the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT) extracts carbon dioxide from air. An electrolysis unit developed by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) produces the required hydrogen by means of solar power.

2016 105

Cambridge researchers develop standalone device that makes formic acid from sunlight, CO2 and water

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Researchers at the University of Cambridge, with colleagues at the University of Tokyo, have developed a standalone device that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into formic acid, a carbon-neutral fuel, without requiring any additional components or electricity.

2020 136

Baker Institute team explores hydrogen production via methane pyrolysis with co-generation and sale of carbon products

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Hydrogen as a zero-carbon energy carrier has the potential to transform fundamentally the global energy landscape—but the production must benefit the environment, according to experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. If the fossil fuel industry wishes to remain relevant, it must adapt and explore paths towards zero-carbon or low-carbon energy and carbon utilization strategies. MT), and carbon fiber (~0.1

2020 65

Toyota and partners launch low-carbon hydrogen supply-chain project in Japan

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In Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project. The goal of all entities is the realization of a hydrogen-based society spanning the entire region through mutual coordination and all-inclusive efforts. Hydrogen is a useful energy source for realizing a low-carbon society.

2018 81

ETH Zurich: carbon-neutral fuel made from sunlight and air

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Their new solar mini-refinery is located on the roof of ETH’s Machine Laboratory building in Zurich. Both are then fed into the solar reactor at the focus of a parabolic reflector. Solar radiation is concentrated by a factor of 3,000, generating process heat at a temperature of 1,500 degrees Celsius inside the solar reactor. Carbon-neutral fuels are crucial for making aviation and maritime transport sustainable. Fuels Solar fuels

2019 85

SOLAR-JET project demonstrates solar-driven thermochemical conversion of CO2 and water to jet fuel

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SOLAR-JET concentrated thermochemical reactor. The EU-funded SOLAR-JET project has demonstrated the production of aviation kerosene from concentrated sunlight, CO 2 captured from air, and water. The process has also the potential to produce any other type of fuel for transport applications, such as diesel, gasoline or pure hydrogen in a more sustainable way. The solar reactor consists of a cavity-receiver containing a porous monolithic ceria cylinder.

2014 91

Australian Government establishes A$300M fund to support hydrogen projects

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The Australian Government has established funding to support hydrogen-powered projects. The A$300 million (US$193 million) Advancing Hydrogen Fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). As an early priority, CEFC will seek investment in projects included in the ARENA Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. CEFC finance remains central to filling market gaps, whether driven by technology, development or commercial challenges.

2020 78

DLR and partners inaugurate largest solar-thermochemical H2 production plant

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The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), together with international project partners, has inaugurated the largest solar-chemical installation yet for the production of hydrogen. For the HYDROSOL-Plant (thermochemical HYDROgen product in a SOLar monolithic reactor) project, scientists and companies further developed the process of direct hydrogen production using solar radiation.

2017 60

DOE awarding $72M to 27 projects to develop and advance carbon capture technologies, including direct air capture

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the award of approximately $72 million in federal funding to support the development and advancement of carbon capture technologies under two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). DOE is awarding a total of $21 million to 18 projects for technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a process known as “direct air capture” (DAC). It will also help develop carbon reduction technologies for use in the steel sector.

2020 83

Israeli company reports successful stage 1 testing of solar CO2-to-fuels technology

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Israel-based NewCO2Fuels (NCF), a subsidiary of GreenEarth Energy Limited in Australia, reported completion of stage 1 testing of its proof-of-concept system for the conversion of CO 2 into fuels using solar energy. NewCO2Fuels was founded in 2011 to commercialize a technology developed by Prof. The first technology concentrates solar energy to create and transfer heat up to 1200 °C, while coping with cycles related to solar conditions.

2014 117

Intermountain Power Agency orders MHPS JAC Gas Turbine technology for renewable-hydrogen energy hub, operated by LA DWP

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This award marks the first Advanced Class Gas Turbines in the industry specifically designed and purchased as part of a comprehensive plan to sequentially transition from coal, to natural gas and finally to renewable hydrogen fuel, and creates a roadmap for the global industry to follow. This transition will start in 2025, when the turbines will be commercially guaranteed capable of using a mix of 30% hydrogen and 70% natural gas fuel.

2020 130

New photochemical diode artificial photosynthesis system doubles efficiency of solar water splitting

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As reported in an open-access paper in Nature Communications, the wafer-level photochemical diode arrays exhibited solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of ~3.3% The device could also be reconfigured to turn carbon dioxide back into fuel. Schematic illustration of wafer-level unassisted photocatalytic overall water splitting on double-band nanowire arrays, which are vertically aligned on a planar substrate and decorated with co-catalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).

2018 69

Heliogen launches, achieves > 1,000 ?C from concentrated sunlight for industrial processes

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Heliogen, a company that is transforming sunlight to create and replace fuels, recently announced its launch and also said that it has—for the first time commercially—concentrated solar energy to exceed temperatures greater than 1,000 degrees Celsius. This singular scientific achievement was accomplished at Heliogen’s commercial facility in Lancaster, California. Its heat technology represents a key technical breakthrough for concentrated solar thermal.

2019 92

DOE reports progress on development of low-carbon and renewable sources of hydrogen production

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office’ (FCTO) 2014 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Annual Progress Report ( earlier post )—an annual summary of results from projects funded by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program—described progress in the field of hydrogen production. Based on current analysis, this translates to a hydrogen threshold cost of. There are multiple DOE offices are engaged in R&D relevant to hydrogen production.

2014 80

UTA researchers demonstrate one-step solar process to convert CO2 and H2O directly into renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels

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Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have demonstrated a new solar process for the one-step, gas-phase conversion of CO 2 and H 2 O to C 5+ liquid hydrocarbons and O 2 by operating the photocatalytic reaction at elevated temperatures and pressures. We are the first to use both light and heat to synthesize liquid hydrocarbons in a single stage reactor from carbon dioxide and water. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Fuels Solar Solar fuels

2016 69

Mattershift scales up CNT membranes; potential for zero-carbon fuels for less than fossil

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Startup Mattershift says it has achieved a breakthrough in making carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes at large scale. The paper is a characterization study of commercial prototype carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes consisting of sub–1.27-nm-diameter CNTs traversing a large-area nonporous polysulfone film. Achieving large scale production of carbon nanotube membranes is a breakthrough in the membrane field. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Fuels Nanotech Solar fuels

2018 73

Singapore’s HES unveils plans for regional hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft: Element One

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After 12 years developing hydrogen propulsion systems for small unmanned aircraft ( earlier post ), HES Energy Systems is unveiled its plans for Element One, the first regional hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft. Designed as a zero-emissions aircraft, Element One merges HES’ ultra-light hydrogen fuel cell technologies with a distributed electric aircraft propulsion design. Element One’s design paves the way for renewable hydrogen as a long-range fuel for electric aviation.

2018 120

ARENA announces $1.5M to fund green hydrogen innovation hub in Western Australia; ATCO hydrogen microgrid

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million toward the funding of Australia’s first green hydrogen innovation hub at Jandakot in Western Australia. In Jandakot, gas company ATCO will trial the production, storage and use of renewable hydrogen to energize a commercial-scale microgrid, testing the use of hydrogen in different settings and applications including in household appliances. ATCO aims to assess the practicalities of replacing natural gas with hydrogen at a city-wide scale across a municipality.

2018 60

ARENA announces $1.5M to fund green hydrogen innovation hub in Western Australia; ATCO hydrogen microgrid

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million toward the funding of Australia’s first green hydrogen innovation hub at Jandakot in Western Australia. In Jandakot, gas company ATCO will trial the production, storage and use of renewable hydrogen to energize a commercial-scale microgrid, testing the use of hydrogen in different settings and applications including in household appliances. ATCO aims to assess the practicalities of replacing natural gas with hydrogen at a city-wide scale across a municipality.

2018 60

SAE World Congress panel highlights progress on H2 infrastructure and fuel cell vehicle commercialization

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Although the SAE World Congress has been running panel sessions on fuel cell vehicle commercialization since 2005, this year was the first in which three participating automakers—Toyota, Hyundai and Honda—had fuel cell vehicles that customers can buy now or within a year. Kyle McKeown (for Robert Adler) from Linde Gases spoke on the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure with a focus on refueling, including its novel ionic compressor, the IC90 ( Earlier post.)

2015 115

Toyota to build prototype city of the future, powered by hydrogen fuel cells

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Called the Woven City , it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota will extend an open invitation to collaborate with other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to come work on their own projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world incubator. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells.

2020 95

DOE to re-fund Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis with $75M for solar fuels R&D

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The US Department of Energy announced $75 million in funding to renew the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis ( JCAP ), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub originally established in 2010 with the goal of harnessing solar energy for the production of fuel. JCAP researchers are focused on achieving the major scientific breakthroughs needed to produce liquid transportation fuels from a combination of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, using artificial photosynthesis.

2015 76

CU-Boulder team develops more efficient isothermal solar-thermal water splitting technique for H2 production

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A University of Colorado Boulder team has developed a new solar-thermal water-splitting (STWS) system for the efficient production of hydrogen. STWS cycles have long been recognized as a desirable means of generating hydrogen gas (H 2 ) from water and sunlight, the team notes. Splitting water with sunlight is the Holy Grail of a sustainable hydrogen economy. Hydrogen Production Solar

2013 96

Delivery of renewable isooctane to Audi tips interesting potential non-biomass pathway for biogasoline; “e-benzin” as solar fuel

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Although there has been no public announcement or discussion of what such an Audi/Global Bioenergies development effort might entail, in 2011, Global Bioenergies began a feasibility study to examine whether its artificial isobutene pathway could be functionally transferred into LanzaTech’s carbon monoxide-using organism ( earlier post ). If successful, the first commercialization of this technology is expected as early as 2018.

2015 114

CalSEED awards $4.2M to early-stage clean energy innovations

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The solicitation was designed as a call for early-stage clean energy innovations that fall within five defined technology areas: energy efficiency; energy storage; AI/machine learning; advanced power electronics/power conditioning; and zero- and negative-carbon emission generation. Cypris Materials, Inc is developing paintable solar reflective coatings for the built environment to decrease cooling costs, improve energy efficiency, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

2020 87

Nitrogen-doped graphene nanoplatelets offer high catalytic performance in fuel cells and solar cells; possible replacement for Pt

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Researchers in South Korea have developed a simple, low-cost and eco-friendly method of creating nitrogen-doped graphene nanoplatelets (NGnPs) with excellent catalytic performance in both dye-sensitized solar cells and fuel cells to replace conventional platinum (Pt)-based catalysts for energy conversion. Solar cells (SCs) and fuel cells (FCs) are considered to be promising alternatives. Catalysts Fuel Cells Hydrogen Solar

2013 89

Harvard “bionic leaf 2.0” exceeds efficiency of photosynthesis in nature; hydrogen and liquid fuels

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Researchers at Harvard have created a hybrid water splitting–biosynthetic system based on a biocompatible Earth-abundant inorganic catalyst system to split water into molecular hydrogen and oxygen (H 2 and O 2 ) at low driving voltages. Dubbed “bionic leaf 2.0,” the new system builds on previous work by Nocera, Silver and others ( earlier post ), which—though it was capable of using solar energy to make isopropanol—faced a number of challenges.

2016 86

Rice team demonstrates more efficient photocatalyst for converting ammonia to hydrogen

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Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a new catalyst that can convert ammonia into hydrogen fuel at ambient pressure using only light energy, mainly due to a plasmonic effect that makes the catalyst more efficient. Scientists with Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics have shown how a light-driven plasmonic effect allows catalysts of copper and ruthenium to more efficiently break apart ammonia molecules, which each contain one nitrogen and three hydrogen atoms.

2018 96

DOE’s $10M Advanced Water Splitting Materials Consortium accelerating development of green hydrogen production

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The Energy Department (DOE) recently announced $10 million, subject to appropriations, to support the launch of the HydroGEN Advanced Water Splitting Materials Consortium ( HydroGEN ). This consortium will utilize the expertise and capabilities of the national laboratories to accelerate the development of commercially viable pathways for hydrogen production from renewable energy sources. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Materials

2016 78

New bimetallic copper-titanium hydrogen evolution catalyst outperforms platinum by more than 2x

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The Cu-Ti-Ti hollow site binds hydrogen too strongly. A team from the University of Delaware and Columbia University, with colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, reports that a new hierarchical nanoporous copper-titanium bimetallic electrocatalyst is able to produce hydrogen from water under a mild overpotential at more than twice the rate of state-of-the-art carbon-supported platinum catalyst. Catalysts Hydrogen Hydrogen Production

2015 102

Cambridge team demonstrates light-driven photoreforming of unprocessed biomass to H2 at room temperature

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The system operates under visible light, is stable beyond six days and is even able to reform unprocessed lignocellulose, such as wood and paper, under solar irradiation at room temperature, presenting an inexpensive route to drive aqueous proton reduction to H 2 through waste biomass oxidation. Solar light offers an essentially inexhaustible source of globally available energy, and therefore the photoreforming of biomass-derived compounds is a fast-growing field of research.

2017 83

Geely invests in Carbon Recycling Intl.; vehicles fueled by methanol from CO2, water and renewable energy

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million in Carbon Recycling International (CRI). Geely’s CRI investment and work with renewable methanol is similar to the approach Audi is taking with its own e-fuels projects—producing very low carbon liquid or gaseous fuels using only renewable energy, water and CO 2. Vulcanol is CRI’s brand name for renewable methanol, produced from CO 2 and hydrogen from renewable sources of electricity (hydro, geothermal, wind and solar).

2015 85

DOE Launches $122M Energy Innovation Hub to Focus on Solar Fuels: Fuels from Sunlight

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The US Department of Energy will invest up to $366 million to establish and operate three new Energy Innovation Hubs focused on accelerating research and development in three key energy areas, one of which is developing an effective solar energy to chemical fuel conversion system—i.e., The objective of the Fuels from Sunlight Hub is to accelerate the development of a sustainable commercial process for the production of solar fuels, likely using mechanisms based on photosynthesis.

2009 99

Rice University lab develops dual-surface graphene electrode to split water into hydrogen and oxygen

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Researchers in the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour have produced dual-surface laser-induced graphene (LIG) electrodes on opposing faces of a plastic sheet that split water into hydrogen on one side and oxygen on the other side. The LIG-based electrodes exhibit high performance for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) with excellent long-term stability. Catalysts Hydrogen Hydrogen Production

2017 60

Bauhaus Luftfahrt analysis finds solar thermochemical jet fuel production viable only if CO2 captured from renewable sources and not flue gases

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A team from Bauhaus Luftfahrt in Germany has analyzed the climate impact and economic performance of solar thermochemical jet fuel production. Schematic of solar thermochemical fuel production path. Direct solar radiation is concentrated by a field of heliostats and drives the high-temperature thermochemical conversion of H 2 O and CO 2 to H 2 and CO (syngas). A solar tower or dish concentration system can deliver the required level of radiative flux.

2015 60

Power-to-gas trial to inject hydrogen into Australia’s gas grid; A$5M award to AquaHydrex

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On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA has provided A$5 million (US$4 million) in funding to Wollongong-based AquaHydrex to develop commercially its new class of electrolyzer to produce cheap hydrogen from splitting water. Power-to-gas involves converting electricity into hydrogen by splitting water, then injecting this into the gas grid, providing long-term energy storage and stabilization of variable output solar and wind power.

2017 60