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. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Emissions Fuels Solar fuels

2017 159

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. Aviation Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Fuels Solar Solar fuels

Solar 89

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JCAP team reports first complete “artificial leaf”; >10% solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency

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Researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) report the development of the first complete, efficient, safe, integrated solar-driven system—an “artificial leaf”—for splitting water to produce hydrogen. Fuels Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

2015 100

UI, Argonne develop catalyst for more efficient solar-powered reduction of CO2 to CO for conversion to fuel

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C) Calculated solar-to-fuel efficiency (SFE) of photochemical process. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Catalysts Emissions Solar fuels

2016 78

Univ. of Twente team develops highly efficient Si photocathode for solar fuels production

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Researchers at the University of Twente’s MESA+ research institute have made significant efficiency improvements to the technology used to generate solar fuels. Researchers around the world are working on the development of solar fuel technology.

2018 127

Swiss team develops effective and low-cost solar water-splitting device; 14.2% solar-to-hydrogen efficiency

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The prototype system is made up of three interconnected, new-generation, crystalline silicon solar cells attached to an electrolysis system that does not rely on rare metals. Schematic overview of the solar-driven hydrogen generator. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

Solar 84

On the road to solar fuels and chemicals

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In a new paper in the journal Nature Materials (in an edition focused on materials for sustainable energy), a team from Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has reviewed milestones in the progress of solid-state photoelectrocatalytic technologies toward delivering solar fuels and chemistry. Noting the “ important advances ” in solar fuels research, the review team also noted that the largest scientific and technical milestones are still ahead.

2016 60

New $30M ARPA-E program to develop new solar conversion and storage technologies; targeting higher solar penetration in mix

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The primary goal of this funding opportunity ( DE-FOA-0000949 ) is to provide disruptive new solar conversion and storage technology options to enable a much higher penetration of solar energy generation into the US energy mix. Novel approaches to high T solar conversion.

2013 89

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. Driving the system using a solar-based heat source (100% renewable).

2014 112

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. An electrolysis unit developed by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) produces the required hydrogen by means of solar power. Fuels Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar fuels

2016 105

ARPA-E awarding $30M to 12 hybrid solar projects; conversion and storage

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) is awarding $30 million in funding to 12 projects through its Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program, which is aimed at developing new hybrid solar energy converters and hybrid energy storage systems that can deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy on demand. Schematics of technology areas addressed by FOCUS a) Hybrid solar converter.

2014 75

Light over heat: UV-driven rhodium nanoparticles catalyze conversion of CO2 to methane

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Duke University researchers have engineered rhodium nanoparticles that can harness the energy in ultraviolet light and use it to catalyze the conversion of carbon dioxide to methane, a key building block for many types of fuels. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Catalysts Fuels Solar fuels

2017 78

CalTech, Berkeley Lab team uses new high-throughput method to identify promising photoanodes for solar fuels

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Researchers globally are exploring a range of target solar fuels fuels, from hydrogen gas to liquid hydrocarbons; producing any of these fuels involves splitting water. Tiered screening pipeline for accelerated discovery of solar fuels photoanodes.

2017 78

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.

2016 89

Stanford solar tandem cell shows promise for efficient solar-driven water-splitting to produce hydrogen

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Researchers at Stanford University, with colleagues in China, have developed a tandem solar cell consisting of an approximately 700-nm-thick nanoporous Mo-doped bismuth vanadate (BiVO 4 ) (Mo:BiVO 4 ) layer on an engineered Si nanocone substrate. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuel

Solar 78

NREL sets new world efficiency record for solar hydrogen production: 16.2%

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Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recaptured the record for highest efficiency in solar hydrogen production via a photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting process. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

2017 97

Berkeley Lab solar-to-fuel system for CO2 to ethanol and ethylene; light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis

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Solar to chemical energy conversion could provide an alternative to mankind's unsustainable use of fossil fuels. In another newly published study, they describe a new catalyst that can achieve carbon dioxide to multicarbon conversion using record-low inputs of energy.

2017 84

JCAP hybrid photocathode material shows promising performance in conversion of solar energy to hydrogen

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A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis ( JCAP ) shows that nearly 90% of the electrons generated by a new hybrid photocathode material designed to store solar energy in hydrogen are being stored in the target hydrogen molecules (Faradaic efficiency). The catalysts belong to the cobaloxime class of compounds that have shown recent promise in electrocatalysis and solar-to-fuels applications. Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

2014 69

Toshiba catalyst for efficient direct solar conversion of CO2 into ethylene glycol

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The new catalyst can be used in artificial photosynthesis powered by solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbon compounds. Most artificial photosynthesis technologies use a two-electron reduction conversion process, producing carbon monoxide and formic acid.

2015 84

UW-Madison team develops novel hydrogen-producing photoelectrochemical cell using solar-driven biomass conversion as anode reaction

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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed an innovative hydrogen-producing photoelectrochemical cell (PEC), using solar-driven biomass conversion as the anode reaction. They thus demonstrated the utility of solar energy for biomass conversion (rather than catalysts) as well as the feasibility of using an oxidative biomass conversion reaction as an anode reaction in a hydrogen-forming PEC. Biomass Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

2015 60

New plasma synthesis process for one-step conversion of CO2 and methane into higher value fuel and chemicals

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Instead of using H 2 , direct conversion of CO 2 with CH 4 (dry reforming of methane, DRM) to liquid fuels and chemicals (e.g. wind and solar power) to act as an efficient chemical energy storage localized or distributed system. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Fuels Natural Gas

2017 89

NREL researchers capture excess photon energy to produce solar fuels; higher efficiency water-splitting for H2

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showed for the first time how MEG allowed a solar cell to exceed 100% quantum efficiency by producing more electrons in the electrical current than the amount of photons entering the solar cell. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

2017 78

ORNL team devises electrocatalyst for direct conversion of CO2 into ethanol with high selectivity; pushing the combustion reaction in reverse

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The researchers’ initial analysis suggests that the spiky textured surface of the catalysts provides ample reactive sites to facilitate the carbon dioxide-to-ethanol conversion. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Emissions Ethanol

2016 112

Toshiba targeting practical implementation of conversion of solar energy and CO2 to feedstock and fuel in 2020s

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Toshiba Corporation has developed a new technology that uses solar energy directly to generate carbon compounds from carbon dioxide and water, and to deliver a viable chemical feedstock or fuel with potential for use in industry. Towards this, Toshiba said it will further improve the conversion efficiency by increasing catalytic activity, with the aim of securing practical implementation in the 2020s. Fuels Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

2014 60

Single-step solar-driven conversion of starch to ethanol with no additional energy input

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Researchers led by a team from Bar-Ilan University in Israel have designed a solar reactor for the solar-driven conversion of starch to bioethanol in a single step, with no additional energy input. 2015) “Solar-Energy Driven Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation of Starch to Bioethanol for Fuel-Cell Applications,” ChemSusChem doi: 10.1002/cssc.201500469.

2015 65

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara develop efficient and stable plasmonic water splitter; potential alternative to semiconductor-based solar conversion

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The autonomous plasmonic solar water splitter, which was operated with 1 M potassium borate electrolyte (pH 9.6) Structure and mechanism of operation of the autonomous plasmonic solar water splitter. (a) Hydrogen Production Solar

2013 84

Osaka team develops new solar-to-hydrogen catalyst that uses broader spectrum of light

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Although H 2 can be produced from direct splitting of water using semiconductor photocatalysts under solar light irradiation, the present energy conversion efficiency of STH [solar-to-hydrogen] is too low for the technology to be economically sound. The band gap properties are promising because of broad solar light absorption from UV to NIR region. Catalysts Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar Solar fuels

2017 65

Rice team demonstrates plasmonic hot-electron solar water-splitting technology; simpler, cheaper and efficient

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Researchers at Rice have demonstrated an efficient new way to use solar energy for water splitting. Structure and mechanism of operation of plasmonic photocathode for plasmon-mediated direct electron injection to drive solar-to-chemical energy conversion. (a)

2015 94

GWU team uses one-pot process to co-generate H2 and solid carbon from water and CO2; solar fuels

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The work is a further development of their work with STEP (solar thermal electrochemical process)—an efficient solar chemical process, based on a synergy of solar thermal and endothermic electrolyses, introduced by Licht and his colleagues in 2009.

2014 84

Integrated solar-driven system for electrochemical energy storage and water electrolysis for H2 production

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A team from UCLA and colleagues from Tarbiat Modares University and Shahed University in Iran have devised an integrated solar-powered system for both electrochemical energy storage and water electrolysis. All three electrodes connect to a single solar cell that serves as the device’s power source, and the electrical energy harvested by the solar cell can be stored in one of two ways: electrochemically in the supercapacitor or chemically as hydrogen.

2017 65

University of Adelaide team exploring novel configuration for solar hybridized coal-to-liquids process

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Simplified flowsheet of the proposed solar hybridized coal- to-liquids (SCTL) process with the proposed solar hybridized dual fluidized bed (SDFB) gasifier. For a solar multiple of 3 and bed material storage capacity of 16 h, the annual solar share is 21.8%

2015 84

Japan team reports pathway to green ammonia: photocatalytic conversion of nitrogen with water

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The solar-to-chemical energy conversion efficiency is 0.02%, which is the highest efficiency among the early reported photocatalytic systems. Hiroaki Hirakawa, Masaki Hashimoto, Yasuhiro Shiraishi, and Takayuki Hirai (2017) “Photocatalytic Conversion of Nitrogen to Ammonia with Water on Surface Oxygen Vacancies of Titanium Dioxide” Journal of the American Chemical Society doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b06634. Ammonia Catalysts Solar fuels

2017 65

New Solar Energy Conversion Process Could Boost Efficiency

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Stanford engineers have developed a process—photon-enhanced thermionic emission, PETE—that simultaneously uses the light and heat of the sun to generate electricity in a way that could make solar power production more than twice as efficient as existing methods. (a) Unlike photovoltaic technology currently used in solar panels—which becomes less efficient as the temperature rises—he new process excels at higher temperatures.

2010 69

Researchers develop all-weather solar cell that generates power from rain as well as from sun

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While many technical advances have made solar cells more efficient and affordable, a disadvantage remains in the fact that solar cells produce no power when it’s raining. c), d) The operational principle of the flexible solar cell under sunlight. Graphene Power Generation Solar

2016 94

UCR team demonstrates use of earth abundant elements in spin-mediated thermoelectric energy conversion for waste heat recovery

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Now, researchers led by Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Sandeep Kumar, have reported achieving significant thermoelectric energy conversion using a combination of a nickel-iron alloy and silicon.

2018 78

NREL, Swiss scientists create silicon-based multijunction solar cells that reach nearly 36% efficiency

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Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created tandem solar cells with record efficiencies of converting sunlight into electricity under 1-sun illumination. The existing photovoltaics market is dominated by modules made of single-junction silicon solar cells, with efficiencies between 17% and 24%.

2017 65

Solar reactor for the two-step thermochemical production of fuels from water and carbon dioxide

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Schematic of the solar reactor for the two-step, solar-driven thermochemical production of fuels. A team from Caltech, ETH Zürich and the Paul Scherrer Institute have devised a solar reactor for the two-step, solar-driven thermochemical production of fuels.

2010 97

Berkeley Lab researchers develop fully integrated microfluidic test-bed for solar-driven electrochemical energy conversion systems

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Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), have developed the first fully integrated microfluidic test-bed for evaluating and optimizing solar-driven electrochemical energy conversion systems.

2013 78

Elemental boron effective photothermocatalyst for the conversion of CO2 for fuels and chemicals

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Despite decades of research, processes for converting CO 2 are still too inefficient, largely due to the insufficient utilization of solar light, the high energy barrier for CO 2 activation, and the sluggish kinetics of the multiple electron and proton transfer processes, said Jinhua Ye, corresponding author. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Catalysts Emissions Fuels

2017 60

Researchers create efficient, simple-to-manufacture photoanode for solar water-splitting

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Having established the technique, Whitmire said it will now be much easier to investigate hybrid catalysts for many applications, including petrochemical production, energy conversion and refrigeration. Catalysts Hydrogen Production Solar fuels

2017 84