Lake Park, NC, United States
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Newman J.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute
Journal of the Electrochemical Society | Year: 2013

A single catalyst can serve a dual role if it can be oxidized at the anode and reduced at the cathode. In an undivided cell, some of the oxidized species may reach the cathode, and some of the reduced species may reach the anode, and these two species may also react with each other in the middle of the cell. These processes reduce the current efficiency. Quantification of these losses can be related to the thickness of the cell, the diffusion coefficients, and the homogeneous rate constants. The energy efficiency of the cell is also addressed. © 2013 The Electrochemical Society.


Newman J.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute
Journal of the Electrochemical Society | Year: 2013

Ohm's law is used to evaluate the scalability of wired and wireless photoelectrochemical cells. Simple but comparable geometries show clearly that the wired device is far superior to wireless devices. © 2013 The Electrochemical Society.


Newman J.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute | Hoertz P.G.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute | Bonino C.A.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute | Trainham J.A.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute
Journal of the Electrochemical Society | Year: 2012

Liquid solar fuels can be produced using a modular approach. A simplified economic analysis is used to evaluate the cost for making diesel and other fuels. In each reaction scheme, water is converted to hydrogen electrochemically, which is later converted to a liquid fuel by the Fischer-Tropsch method. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, provide power to each process in its entirety. Furthermore, costs for photoelectrochemical cells, a developing hydrogen-production technology, are estimated and compared with electrolyzer costs at optimized current densities. This approach for evaluating renewable liquid fuels can be customized as new technologies develop and cost estimates evolve. One way to address the large capital costs associated with a large-scale conversion to renewable fuels is for the government to establish a guaranteed market to buy such fuels in an amount comparable to the needs of the military. This would also help the United States meet its own mandate for a 50% conversion of the fleet to nonfossil fuels by 2021. © 2012 The Electrochemical Society.


Trainham J.A.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute | Newman J.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute | Bonino C.A.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute | Hoertz P.G.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute | Akunuri N.,Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute
Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering | Year: 2012

Solar fuels are a long-term permanent solution to renewable fuel technologies to reduce foreign oil imports and carbon dioxide emissions. Although promising in laboratory and pilot scale, they possess inherent technical and economic challenges that hinder large-scale implementation. This work examines critical issues for four solar fuel technologies: solar-powered electrolysis, photoelectrochemical (PEC) systems, solar biomass gasification, and solar thermochemical cycles. Also identified are areas of chemical and materials engineering research that are essential to cost-competitive solar fuels production. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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