Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Scientists to use artificial photosynthesis and nanotubes to generate hydrogen fuel with sunlight: US Department of Enregy awards $1.7 million to explore new 'green' energy creation

Abstract:
A team of four chemists at the University of Rochester have begun work on a new kind of system to derive usable hydrogen fuel from water using only sunlight.

The project has caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Energy, which has just given the team nearly $1.7 million to pursue the design.

Scientists to use artificial photosynthesis and nanotubes to generate hydrogen fuel with sunlight: US Department of Enregy awards $1.7 million to explore new 'green' energy creation

Rochester, NY | Posted on October 14th, 2009

"Everybody talks about using hydrogen as a super-green fuel, but actually generating that fuel without using some other non-green energy in the process is not easy," says Kara Bren, professor in the Department of Chemistry. "People have used sunlight to derive hydrogen from water before, but the trick is making the whole process efficient enough to be useful."

Bren and the rest of the Rochester teamóProfessor of Chemistry Richard Eisenberg, and Associate Professors of Chemistry Todd Krauss, and Patrick Hollandówill be investigating artificial photosynthesis, which uses sunlight to carry out chemical processes much as plants do. What makes the Rochester approach different from past attempts to use sunlight to produce hydrogen from water, however, is that the device they are preparing is divided into three "modules" that allow each stage of the process to be manipulated and optimized far more easily than other methods.

The first module uses visible light to create free electrons. A complex natural molecule called a chromophore that plants use to absorb sunlight will be re-engineered to efficiently generate reducing electrons.

The second module will be a membrane suffused with carbon nanotubes to act as molecular wires so small that they are only one-millionth the thickness of a human hair. To prevent the chromophores from re-absorbing the electrons, the nanotube membrane channels the electrons away from the chromophores and toward the third module.

In the third module, catalysts put the electrons to work forming hydrogen from water. The hydrogen can then be used in fuel cells in cars, homes, or power plants of the future.

By separating the first and third modules with the nanotube membrane, the chemists hope to isolate the process of gathering sunlight from the process of generating hydrogen. This isolation will allow the team to maximize the system's light-harvesting abilities without altering its hydrogen-generation abilities, and vice versa. Bren says this is a distinct advantage over other systems that have integrated designs because in those designs a change that enhances one trait may degrade another unpredictably and unacceptably.

Bren says it may be years before the team has a system that clearly works better than other designs, and even then the system would have to work efficiently enough to be commercially viable. "But if we succeed, we may be able to not only help create a fuel that burns cleanly, but the creation of the fuel itself may be clean."

####

About University of Rochester
The University of Rochester (www.rochester.edu) is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jonathan Sherwood

585-273-4726

Copyright © University of Rochester

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Seeking Nanoscale Defenses for Biological and Chemical Threats: WPI co-organizes a NATO workshop to improve the detection and decontamination of biological and chemical agents September 13th, 2014

New pricing report for bulk graphene materials September 13th, 2014

Berkeley Lab Licenses Boron Nitride Nanotube Technology: New material has unique mechanical and electronic properties September 13th, 2014

Iranian Nano Scientists Create Flame-Resistant Polymers September 13th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Seeking Nanoscale Defenses for Biological and Chemical Threats: WPI co-organizes a NATO workshop to improve the detection and decontamination of biological and chemical agents September 13th, 2014

Berkeley Lab Licenses Boron Nitride Nanotube Technology: New material has unique mechanical and electronic properties September 13th, 2014

UT Arlington research uses nanotechnology to help cool electrons with no external sources September 11th, 2014

Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers: Berkeley Lab Discovery Holds Promise for Nanoelectronic and Photonic Applications September 11th, 2014

Announcements

Seeking Nanoscale Defenses for Biological and Chemical Threats: WPI co-organizes a NATO workshop to improve the detection and decontamination of biological and chemical agents September 13th, 2014

New pricing report for bulk graphene materials September 13th, 2014

Berkeley Lab Licenses Boron Nitride Nanotube Technology: New material has unique mechanical and electronic properties September 13th, 2014

Iranian Nano Scientists Create Flame-Resistant Polymers September 13th, 2014

Energy

UT Arlington research uses nanotechnology to help cool electrons with no external sources September 11th, 2014

Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers: Berkeley Lab Discovery Holds Promise for Nanoelectronic and Photonic Applications September 11th, 2014

Indium/Copper Sulfide Compound Semi-Conductor Synthesized through New Method September 8th, 2014

Breakthrough for Carbon Nanotube Solar Cells: Polychiral carbon nanotube mixture absorbs more sunlight September 3rd, 2014

Fuel Cells

Media Advisory: Minister Rempel to Announce Support for Alberta's Nanotechnology Sector June 20th, 2014

Evolution of a Bimetallic Nanocatalyst June 6th, 2014

University of Surrey collaborates with India and Tata Steel to revolutionise renewable energy March 26th, 2014

Novel membrane reveals water molecules will bounce off a liquid surface: Study may lead to more efficient water-desalination systems, fundamental understanding of fluid flow March 16th, 2014

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

First Colloid and Polymer Science Lecture awarded to Orlin D. Velev: Chemical engineer honored for outstanding research in colloid science September 12th, 2014

Advanced Light Source Sets Microscopy Record| Berkeley Lab Researchers Achieve Highest Resolution Ever with X-ray Microscopy September 11th, 2014

SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT Professor Awarded National Grant to Pursue Innovative Cancer Studies: $1.65 Million To Fund Research On Environmentally Influenced Cancers September 8th, 2014

Rice chemist wins rare NSF Special Creativity Award: Grant extension will bolster Zubarev's effort to produce gold nanorods September 8th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE