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Technical and operational perspective on the DOE Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub, the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis

Lewis, Nathan S. (2014) Technical and operational perspective on the DOE Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub, the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. In: 248th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, August 10-14, 2014, San Francisco, CA.

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The design of highly efficient, non biol., mol. level energy conversion "machines" that generate fuels directly from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide is both a formidable challenge and an opportunity that, if realized, could have a revolutionary impact on our energy system. Basic research has already provided enormous advances in our understanding of the subtle and complex photochem. behind the natural photosynthetic system, and in the use of inorg. photocatalytic methods to split water or reduce carbon dioxide-key steps in photosynthesis. Yet we still lack sufficient knowledge to design solar fuel generation systems with the required efficiency, scalability, and sustainability to be economically viable. In the DOE Energy Innovation Hub, the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, we are developing an artificial photosynthetic system that will only utilize sunlight and water as the inputs and will produce hydrogen and oxygen as the outputs. We are taking a modular, parallel development approach in which the three distinct primary components-the photoanode, the photocathode, and the product-sepg. but ion-conducting membrane-are fabricated and optimized sep. before assembly into a complete water-splitting system. The design principles incorporate two sep., photosensitive semiconductor/liq. junctions that will collectively generate the 1.7-1.9 V at open circuit necessary to support both the oxidn. of H_2O (or OH^-) and the redn. of H^+ (or H_2O). The photoanode and photocathode will consist of rod-like semiconductor components, with attached heterogeneous multi-electron transfer catalysts, which are needed to drive the oxidn. or redn. reactions at low overpotentials. This talk will discuss a feasible and functional prototype and blueprint for an artificial photosynthetic system, composed of only inexpensive, earth-abundant materials, that is simultaneously efficient, durable, scalably manufacturable, and readily upgradeable, including both the operational and tech. scope of the JCAP Hub, as well as tech. results towards this goal that has recently been developed at Caltech.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Lewis, Nathan S.0000-0001-5245-0538
Additional Information:© 2014 American Chemical Society.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140815-080427795
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48584
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Aug 2014 04:42
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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