delware environmental institute

UDaily: University to hold workshop on solar fuel generation on March 7–8

UDaily: University to hold workshop on solar fuel generation on March 7–8

The University of Delaware will host a workshop on solar fuel generation on March 7-8 at Clayton Hall Conference Center on UD’s main campus in Newark. Speakers from industry, academia and federal agencies will discuss the current status of research and development on renewable fuels. They will stimulate discussions on the merits and challenges of obtaining high production capacities using low-cost photovoltaic and electrolyzer technologies to convert sunlight into liquid fuel.

A critical goal of the workshop will be the development of a research team to pursue grant funding to work on identified challenges in large-scale fuel and chemical production. A white paper suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal also is planned, highlighting the potential of the technology, including system designs and research and development needs discussed during the workshop.

“The idea is that down the road, we’ll be positioned to take the carbon dioxide from various places that generate it and use it to make liquid fuel for transportation, or generate chemicals for use in a variety of areas,” says Robert Birkmire, director of UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion, one of the workshop’s organizers. “This is a way of capturing carbon dioxide and putting it to work rather than pumping more of it into the environment. It’s not something that would happen immediately because of the tough cost structure currently, but it’s coming.”