Fusion Fuel (earlier post) completed the interconnection of its H2Évora plant to the Portuguese electric grid and has successfully commissioned the facility. The demonstration project, comprising 15 HEVO-Solar units and associated balance-of-plant equipment, will produce 15 tons of green hydrogen per year and avoid the emission of 135 tons of... Read more →

NREL, Berkeley Lab propose efficiency and stability best-practices for solar water-splitting

Scientists from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are providing researchers with a guide to how best to measure the efficiency of producing hydrogen directly from solar power. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting, which relies on sunlight to split water into... Read more →

ETH Zurich spin-off Synhelion has started the construction of DAWN—its own industrial plant to produce synthetic fuels using solar heat. (Earlier post.) Located in Jülich, Germany, the facility will demonstrate the entire process from concentrating sunlight to producing synthetic liquid fuel on an industrial scale. The production process—using only solar... Read more →

Researchers in Europe led by a team from ETH Zurich have designed a fuel production system that uses water, CO2, and sunlight to produce aviation fuel. The team implemented the system at pilot-scale in the field to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the entire sun-to-liquid fuel process chain, from H2O... Read more →

Researchers from the University of Michigan and McGill University in Canada report photochemical syngas synthesis using a core/shell Au@Cr2O3 dual cocatalyst in coordination with multistacked InGaN/GaN nanowires (NWs) with the sole inputs of CO2, water, and solar light. Their paper is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences... Read more →

A research team from Tokyo Tech has used an alumina-supported, iron-based compound to develop a catalyst that can efficiently convert CO2 into formic acid (HCOOH) with ~90% selectivity. An open-acess paper on the work is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. An et al. A wide-spread soil mineral, alpha-iron-(III) oxyhydroxide,... Read more →

Using a hematite photocatalyst, a team led by researchers from Kobe University has succeeded in producing both hydrogen gas and hydrogen peroxide at the same time from sunlight and water. An open-access paper on the work is published in Nature Communications. Hydrogen has gained attention as one of the possible... Read more →

Synhelion, a developer of solar fuels, and INERATEC, a manufacturer of chemical reactor technologies, are partnering to to scale up the production of solar fuels as replacement for fossil fuels for transportation. While electrification is a viable option for many sectors, fuel-intensive industries such as aviation will continue to require... Read more →

Researchers develop new stable artificial photosynthesis device to produce ethylene and hydrogen from sunlight and CO2

A research team has developed a new artificial photosynthesis device component with remarkable stability and longevity as it selectively converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into two promising sources of renewable fuels: ethylene and hydrogen. The researchers’ findings, which they recently reported in the journal Nature Energy, reveal how the device... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), joined by partners at Sandia National Laboratories and the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute, launched the Heliostat Consortium (HelioCon), an international effort to drive down the cost of heliostats. HelioCon, led by NREL, emphasizes the significance of heliostats as... Read more →

WUSTL researchers demonstrate solar-panel-powered microbial electrosynthesis to produce n-butanol from light, CO2 and power

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a new way to train microbes to make n-butanol. A team of biologists and engineers modified Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 (TIE-1) so that it can produce a biofuel using only three renewable and naturally abundant source ingredients: carbon dioxide, solar panel-generated electricity... Read more →

Germany launches call for funding for construction and operation of a development platform for power-to-liquid fuels

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has launched a call for funding for the construction and operation of a development platform for power-to-liquid (PtL) fuels with a production capacity of up to 10,000 tons of PtL fuel per year. By switching to electricity-based fuel, we can save... Read more →

Researchers at Monash University in Australia have conducted a lifecycle analysis and net energy analysis (LCA/NEA) of a hypothetical large-scale solar-electrolysis plant for the production of green hydrogen. The open-access paper on the study is published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science. Process flow diagram and construction phase... Read more →

Empa researchers investigating new process for production of synthetic methane

Swiss research intsitute Empa’s future mobility demonstrator, “move”, is investigating three paths for CO2 reduction in road traffic—electric mobility, hydrogen mobility and synthetic fuels—against the background of a rapidly changing energy system. All these concepts have advantages and drawbacks in terms of energy, operation and economics. In order to use... Read more →

Cummins selects Spain for GW electrolyzer plant, partners with Iberdrola on green hydrogen value chain

Cummins Inc. joined government leaders and partner Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest energy companies, to announce its plans for one of the world’s largest electrolyzer plants for the production of green hydrogen to be located in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. This investment in Spain comes on the heels of Iberdrola... Read more →

Fusion Fuel Green partners with CCC to develop green hydrogen demonstrator plants in Middle East

Ireland-based electrolyzer company Fusion Fuel Green PLC will collaborate with Consolidated Contractors Group S.A.L. (Offshore) (CCC), to develop green hydrogen plants in the Middle East. CCC and Fusion Fuel have agreed to cooperate on projects involving the production of green hydrogen for potential clients in the refining and petrochemical industries... Read more →

Researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China have developed a Na-ion direct formate fuel cell to co-produce electricity and hydrogen (e-h2 Na-DFFC). A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. Using formate—a solar fuel that can be readily synthetized from carbon dioxide—the researchers reported that... Read more →

Syzygy Plasmonics raises $23M Series B to electrify chemical manufacturing; photocatalytic reactor for hydrogen production

Syzygy Plasmonics, a technology company developing a high-performance photocatalyst for the industrial gas, chemical and energy industries, announced a $23-million Series B financing led by Horizons Ventures with participation from new global investors including Equinor Ventures. (Earlier post.) Licensed from Rice University, Syzygy’s “antenna-reactor” plasmonic photocatalyst has been published in... Read more →

Tuning electrode surfaces to optimize solar fuel production

Scientists have demonstrated that modifying the topmost layer of atoms on the surface of electrodes can have a remarkable impact on the activity of solar water splitting. As reported in Nature Energy, bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) electrodes with more bismuth on the surface (relative to vanadium) generate higher amounts of electrical... Read more →

Researchers at Uppsala University have developed photocatalytic composite polymer nanoparticles (“polymer dots”) that show promising performance and stability for the production of hydrogen from water and sunlight. An open-access paper on the work appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. These polymer dots are designed to be both... Read more →

Utilization of renewable solar energy is crucial for addressing the global energy and environmental concerns and achieving sustainable development. In this regard, photocatalytic water splitting has attracted significant interest as a cost-effective means to convert sustainable solar energy into valuable chemicals. However, because efficiency is sensitive to reaction conditions and... Read more →

Researchers at MIT have developed a method that could significantly boost the performance of carbon capture and conversion systems that use catalytic surfaces to enhance the rates of carbon-sequestering electrochemical reactions. Such catalytic systems are an attractive option for carbon capture because they can produce useful, valuable products such as... Read more →

Researchers at KAUST have discovered that a form of iron oxide—Fe2O3—makes an excellent co-catalyst for a promising photocatalytic material called gallium nitride for the production f hydrogen. An open-access paper on their work appears in Scientific Reports. Finding photocatalysts that can efficiently use sunlight to produce clean hydrogen fuel from... Read more →

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. The device is a significant step toward achieving artificial photosynthesis—a process mimicking... Read more →

Photoelectrical chemical cells (PECs) have the potential to produce hydrogen fuel through artificial photosynthesis, an emerging renewable energy technology that uses energy from sunlight to drive chemical reactions such as splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. The key to a PEC’s success lies not only in how well its photoelectrode... Read more →

DOE announces $100M for artificial photosynthesis research to two major partnerships

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $100 million in funding over five years for two new awards focused on advancing artificial photosynthesis for the production of fuels from sunlight. The Liquid Sunlight Alliance (LiSA), led by the California Institute of Technology in close partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,... Read more →

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Caltech have found that copper that was once bound with oxygen is better at converting carbon dioxide into renewable fuels than copper that was never bound to oxygen. For their study, published in the journal ACS Catalysis, the scientists performed X-ray... Read more →

SunHydrogen, the developer of a technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water, has extended its sponsored research agreement with the University of Iowa through 31 August 2020. The current extension will allow the company to increase focus on its more efficient GEN 2 hydrogen production technology which is... Read more →

Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, are attempting to convert carbon dioxide to fuel using energy from sunlight. Recent results have shown that it is possible to use their technique selectively to produce methane, carbon monoxide or formic acid from carbon dioxide and water. An open-access paper on the work appears... Read more →

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed a hybrid material constructed from a metal oxide nanosheet and a light-absorbing molecule for splitting water molecules (H2O) to obtain hydrogen (H2) under sunlight. The research team led by Kazuhiko Maeda at Tokyo Tech developed a new photocatalyst consisting of... Read more →

Representatives of the Lufthansa Group and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich), with ETH spin-offs Climeworks and Synhelion, have signed a joint Letter of Intent for a possible cooperation to accelerate the market launch of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). The researchers and engineers at ETH Zurich have developed... Read more →

A research group led by Associate Professor Takashi Tachikawa of Kobe University’s Molecular Photoscience Research Center has developed a strategy that greatly increases the amount of hydrogen produced from sunlight and water using hematite (α‐Fe2O3) photocatalysts. They were able to raise the conversion rate up to 42% of its theoretical... Read more →

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... Read more →

HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water (earlier post), is working with Suzhou GH New Energy Co. Ltd., a division of GCL Poly, in China to make the final modifications to the solar cells required to manufacture the Gen 1 hydrogen production... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Southampton have transformed optical fibers into photocatalytic microreactors that convert water into hydrogen fuel using solar energy. The technology combines, for the first time, microstructured optical fiber technology with photocatalysis, creating a photocatalytic microreactor coated with TiO2, decorated with palladium nanoparticles. The microstructured optical fiber... Read more →

Researchers from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a photocatalyst for the selective decarboxylation of fatty acids to produce diesel- and jet-range molecules under mild conditions (30 °C, H2 pressure ≤0.2 MPa). A photocatalytic decarboxylation strategy for the production of alkanes from... Read more →

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS), Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc., and Iwatani Corporation announced that Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), which had been under construction in Namie town, Fukushima Prefecture since 2018, has been constructed with a... Read more →

Researchers led by Prof. WANG Feng at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have reported that photocatalytic decarboxylation is an efficient alternate pathway for converting biomass-derived fatty acids into alkanes under mild conditions of ambient temperature and pressure. This finding was published in... Read more →

Researchers develop organic semiconductor photocatalyst with enhanced hydrogen evolution

Currently, most hydrogen evolution photocatalysts (HEPs) are made from single-component inorganic semiconductors. These can only absorb light at ultraviolet wavelengths—constituting less than 5% of the solar spectrum—which limits their efficiency. However, photocatalysts formed from a single organic semiconductor typically suffer from inefficient intrinsic charge generation, which leads to low photocatalytic... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) plans to provide up to $100 million over five years for research on artificial photosynthesis for the production of fuels from sunlight. (DE-FOA-0002254) The funding will support the establishment of one large or possibly two smaller DOE Energy Innovation Hubs: integrated multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research... Read more →

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have demonstrated the first visible-light photoelectrochemical system for water splitting using TiO2 enhanced with cobalt. The proposed approach is simple and represents a stepping stone in the quest to achieve affordable water splitting to produce hydrogen. A study on their work is... Read more →

Prometheus CEO outlines tech advances that could make CO2-to-fuels renewable gasoline and jet price-competitive with fossil fuels

In a commentary in the journal Joule, Rob McGinnis, founder and and CEO of Prometheus, a company that is developing technology to remove carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into fuels, discusses the technology advances that could lead to the potential price-competitiveness of renewable gasoline and jet with... Read more →

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), with colleagues at Yale University, have developed a photochemical process to convert acetone derived from plants (bio-acetone) into a mixture of polycyclic alkanes, the high energy density of which is appropriate for high-perfomance aviation applications. A paper on the work appears in the... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Michigan, McGill University and McMaster University have developed a binary copper−iron catalyst for photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction toward methane. The work, presented in a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), offers a unique, highly efficient, and inexpensive route for solar fuels synthesis.... Read more →

Researchers in Israel have designed a separate-cell photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting system with decoupled hydrogen and oxygen cells for centralized hydrogen production. A paper describing their system is publishedin the journal Joule. Photovoltaic-powered water splitting (PV-electrolysis) systems that couple commercially-available photovoltaic and water electrolysis technologies have already been demonstrated in several... Read more →

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. At that temperature, Heliogen can replace the use of fossil fuels in critical industrial... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have demonstrated an “artificial leaf” that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to produce syngas. As a a result, unlike the current industrial processes for producing syngas, the leaf does not release any additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The results are reported... Read more →

The Paris Agreement calls for global warming to be limited to 2 ˚C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably 1.5 °C. The fossil CO₂ emitted by road vehicles will have to be reduced to nearly zero over the next three decades for that to happen—a daunting and complex challenge. Electromobility is... Read more →

Engineers at Lehigh University are the first to utilize a single enzyme biomineralization process to create a quantum confined CdS/reduced graphene oxide (CdS/rGO) catalyst that uses the energy of captured sunlight to split water molecules to produce hydrogen. The synthesis process—catalyzed by the single enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE)—is performed at... Read more →

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

Researchers from ETH Zurich have developed a novel technology that produces liquid hydrocarbon fuels exclusively from sunlight and air and have demonstrated the entire thermochemical process chain under real field conditions. Their new solar mini-refinery is located on the roof of ETH’s Machine Laboratory building in Zurich. CO2 and water... Read more →