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Title: A general framework for the assessment of solar fuel technologies

Abstract

The conversion of carbon dioxide and water into fuels in a solar refinery presents a potential solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while providing a sustainable source of fuels and chemicals. Towards realizing such a solar refinery, there are many technological advances that must be met in terms of capturing and sourcing the feedstocks (namely CO2, H2O, and solar energy) and in catalytically converting CO2 and H2O. In the first part of this paper, we review the state-of-the-art in solar energy collection and conversion to solar utilities (heat, electricity, and as a photon source for photo-chemical reactions), CO2 capture and separation technology, and non-biological methods for converting CO2 and H2O to fuels. The two principal methods for CO2 conversion include (1) catalytic conversion using solar-derived hydrogen and (2) direct reduction of CO2 using H2O and solar energy. Both hydrogen production and direct CO2 reduction can be performed electro-catalytically, photo-electrochemically, photo-catalytically, and thermochemically. All four of these methods are discussed. In the second part of this paper, we utilize process modeling to assess the energy efficiency and economic feasibility of a generic solar refinery. The analysis demonstrates that the realization of a solar refinery is contingent upon significant technological improvements inmore » all areas described above (solar energy capture and conversion, CO2 capture, and catalytic conversion processes).« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1211279
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AR0000329
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Energy & Environmental Science; Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Herron, JA, Kim, J, Upadhye, AA, Huber, GW, and Maravelias, CT. A general framework for the assessment of solar fuel technologies. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1039/c4ee01958j.
Herron, JA, Kim, J, Upadhye, AA, Huber, GW, & Maravelias, CT. A general framework for the assessment of solar fuel technologies. United States. doi:10.1039/c4ee01958j.
Herron, JA, Kim, J, Upadhye, AA, Huber, GW, and Maravelias, CT. Thu . "A general framework for the assessment of solar fuel technologies". United States. doi:10.1039/c4ee01958j.
@article{osti_1211279,
title = {A general framework for the assessment of solar fuel technologies},
author = {Herron, JA and Kim, J and Upadhye, AA and Huber, GW and Maravelias, CT},
abstractNote = {The conversion of carbon dioxide and water into fuels in a solar refinery presents a potential solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while providing a sustainable source of fuels and chemicals. Towards realizing such a solar refinery, there are many technological advances that must be met in terms of capturing and sourcing the feedstocks (namely CO2, H2O, and solar energy) and in catalytically converting CO2 and H2O. In the first part of this paper, we review the state-of-the-art in solar energy collection and conversion to solar utilities (heat, electricity, and as a photon source for photo-chemical reactions), CO2 capture and separation technology, and non-biological methods for converting CO2 and H2O to fuels. The two principal methods for CO2 conversion include (1) catalytic conversion using solar-derived hydrogen and (2) direct reduction of CO2 using H2O and solar energy. Both hydrogen production and direct CO2 reduction can be performed electro-catalytically, photo-electrochemically, photo-catalytically, and thermochemically. All four of these methods are discussed. In the second part of this paper, we utilize process modeling to assess the energy efficiency and economic feasibility of a generic solar refinery. The analysis demonstrates that the realization of a solar refinery is contingent upon significant technological improvements in all areas described above (solar energy capture and conversion, CO2 capture, and catalytic conversion processes).},
doi = {10.1039/c4ee01958j},
journal = {Energy & Environmental Science},
number = 1,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2015},
month = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2015}
}