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EE15.1.02 - Redox Active Metal Oxide-Based Solar Thermochemical Fuels: Issues of Materials Challenges, Efficiency, Scale, and Economics 
Date/Time:
March 29, 2016   2:00pm - 2:30pm
 
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Reversing combustion and recycling carbon dioxide and water back to liquid hydrocarbons is an attractive option for storing solar energy and mitigating the growth of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. For any such process, high solar-to-fuel efficiency, appropriate materials thermodynamics, kinetics and availability is critical for large scale viability and favorable economics. Redox active mixed perovskite metal oxide-based thermochemical approaches for solar-to-fuel have the potential to be highly efficient as they have a tunable parameter space, avoid inherent limitations of photosynthesis (biofuels), and sidestep the solar-to-electric conversion necessary for electrolytic reactions. This presentation highlights progress from multidisciplinary and international efforts that has been progressing down a technical path for systems, novel reactors, and materials design and discovery for making liquid hydrocarbon fuels from concentrated sunlight, waste carbon dioxide, and brackish water based on a two-step metal oxide redox cycle motivated to address the dual challenges posed by the strategic and economic importance of petroleum and the increasing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. One take-away message will be that given high enough efficiency (> 10% on a lifecycle basis - sunlight to fuel) energy conversion routes, supplanting a large fraction of global petroleum-derived liquid fuels with synthetic solar-fuels, are challenging but nonetheless possible; indeed they are quite plausible with affordable economics.
 


 
 
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