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Update on the Energy Innovation Hub: Fuels from Sunlight Eric A. Rohlfing Director; BES Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division BESAC.

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Presentation on theme: "Update on the Energy Innovation Hub: Fuels from Sunlight Eric A. Rohlfing Director; BES Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division BESAC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Update on the Energy Innovation Hub: Fuels from Sunlight Eric A. Rohlfing Director; BES Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division BESAC Meeting, March 2, 2010  Science background (Rich Greene & Mark Spitler)  Hub coordination activities  Some Q&A  Process update

2 Fuels from Sunlight: A Hub Approach Fuels from Sunlight: Nature’s Way 2 We’ve wanted to copy Nature for a long time!

3 1st ERDA Solar Photochemistry Research Conference May One aspect of this work [in Solar Photochemistry] is the group of studies that have been…called artificial photosynthesis and defined… as the generation of fuel or electricity using model systems which mimic natural photosynthetic systems in light gathering and charge separation. Artificial Photosynthesis: A Long Standing BES Interest 3

4 Jim Barber, Imperial College, UK Gary Brudvig, Yale Univ. Chris Moser, Univ. of Pennsylvania Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley/LBNL Maria Ghirardi, NREL Marilyn Gunner, City College of NY Wolfgang Junge, Univ. Osnabruck, Germany David Kramer, Washington State Univ. Robert Blankenship, Washington University (Co Chair) David Tiede, Argonne National Laboratory (Co-Chair) BES Council on Chemical and Biochemical Sciences Workshop on the Efficiency of Photosynthesis May 23, 24, Albuquerque, NM Tasio Meilis, UC Berkeley Tom Moore, Arizona St. Univ. Dan Nocera, MIT Art Nozik, NREL Don Ort, Univ. of Illiniois William Parson, Univ. of Washington Roger Prince, Exxon Richard Sayre, Danforth Plant Science Center Can biologists studying natural photosynthetic systems talk to physical scientists doing PV research? Yes, and usefully!

5 5 Efficiency of photosynthesis conversion to biomass: 4.6% - 6.0% calculated 2.4% - 3.7% actual field PS What is the solar energy conversion efficiency of natural photosynthesis compared to photovoltaic cells? From Don Ort, USDA-ARS

6 light Natural Photosynthesis: Focus on the Thylakoid Membrane Matrix for reaction centers I & II, the electron transfer chain, and catalytic redox sites 6

7 2H 2 O O 2 + 4H + e - fuels e-e- fs ps - ns  s - ms Artificial Photosynthesis: Working Definition The “Z” scheme of photosynthesis is depicted in overlay on the structure light - Photon capture and energy transfer - fs - Charge separation and electron transport – ps-ns - Catalysis and fuel formation –  s-ms solar microcatalytic energy conversion energy 7

8 Fuels from Sunlight: Critical Issues in Research Photon absorption and harvesting How do we control light harvesting to utilize all of the photons? -Need to know how to design and control exciton transfer in molecular systems -Need red absorbers to harvest the bulk of the solar spectrum Charge separation and transport How do we avoid recombination of photo- generated charge carriers? -Need to overcome geminate recombination in organic systems -Need to design transport to reduce non- geminate recombination in all systems Photocatalysis How do we produce fuels with the energy provided by visible light absorption? -Need hetero/homo - geneous catalytic systems for water splitting -Need to couple light absorption to catalytic processes for C-C bond formation fs ps-ns  s-ms 8

9 fuel storage electrolyzer PV cell balance of system current gas H 2 compression fuel storage Prospects for Solar Fuels Production Ultimate goal: solar microcatalytic energy conversion What we can do today: liquid gas High capital costs Low capital costs compression $12/kg H $3/pW PV (BRN on SEU 2005) Chemists do not yet know how to photoproduce O 2, H 2, reduce CO 2, or oxidize H 2 O on the scale we need. We do not know how to produce fuels in a cost effective manner. Two Limits 9

10 fuel storage electrolyzer PV cell balance of system current gas H 2 compression solar microcatalytic energy conversion fuel storage micro-nano catalysts homo/het H2H2 CH 4 micro-nano solar charge separation fuel storage electrolyzer PV cell balance of system current gas H 2 compression new catalysts for fuel generation highly efficient zero cost dark liquid gas Solar Fuels Production Context is the research between these extremes -each red arrow represents an area of basic research 10

11 fuel storage electrolyzer PV cell balance of system current gas H 2 compression fuel storage micro-nano catalysts homo/het H2H2 CH 4 micro-nano solar charge separation fuel storage electrolyzer PV cell balance of system current gas H 2 compression new catalysts for fuel generation highly efficient zero cost dark liquid gas separations catalysis Photochemistry, biosciences, materials EFRC areas of focusWhat we can do todayUltimate goal solar microcatalytic energy conversion Landscape for Solar Fuels – BES Research BES Program Research 11

12 Part of a significant new DOE initiative - one of three Hubs funded at $22M each in the FY 2010 appropriation. Key Dates: December 22, 2009: Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued January 29, 2010: Letters of intent due (but not required) March 29, 2010: Full applications due June, 2010: Award announcement August, 2010: Award initiation The objective of the Fuels from Sunlight Hub is to develop an effective solar energy to chemical fuel conversion system. The system should operate at an overall efficiency and produce fuel of sufficient energy content to enable transition from bench-top discovery to proof-of- concept prototyping. Energy Innovation Hub – Fuels from Sunlight 12 For information on DOE Energy Innovation Hubs see: We are here!

13 Applied Market Landscape for Solar Fuels Production: From Basic Research to Market Solar fuels technology currently resides at the basic research level. Solar to Hydrogen dark catalysis separations Use-Inspired $12/gal gas equiv 13 Nano- bio photocatalysis What we can do today: Light Absorption, Charge separation & transport

14 Applied Market Landscape for Solar Fuels Production: From Basic Research to Market The Hub will drive solar fuels R&D toward marketable systems. Use-Inspired 14 What we want to do tomorrow: Fuels from Sunlight Hub:  To develop integrated solar fuel systems  To create the scientific and technical infrastructure for a solar fuels industry Twofold Integration:  Across components  Across basic & applied R&D

15 Three Hubs funded at $22M each in the FY 2010 appropriation: Fuels from Sunlight (SC/BES) Modeling and Simulation for Nuclear Reactors (NE) Energy Regional Innovation Cluster or E-RIC (EERE) – includes the Energy Efficient Buildings Design Hub Hub Working Group (SC/BES, NE, EERE) coordinates Hub activities and makes recommendations to DOE senior management: Three separate FOAs from a common template. Hub cost sharing plan, waiver and reductions per EPAct Eligibility allowed for non-DOE FFRDCs (NIST, JPL, etc.) and foreign institutions as partners, not leads. Developed Hubs website and coordinates updates. Coordination of Hub merit review process. Energy Innovation Hubs - Coordination 15

16 Energy Innovation Hubs Website 16 Overview of Hub program How to apply, including links to FOAs Description of research areas Q & A – some examples to follow

17 The Other Two Hubs 17 Modeling and Simulation of Nuclear Reactors (NE): FOA issued January 20, 2010; Full applications due March 8, The mission focus of the NE Hub is to apply existing modeling and simulation capabilities to create a user environment that allows engineers to create a simulation of a currently operating reactor that will act as a "virtual model" of that reactor. The Hub will also obtain data from that reactor to be used to validate the "virtual model." Energy Efficient Buildings Design (EERE): Central “hub” of E-RIC, which includes funding from Commerce/Economic Development (up to $5M/yr), Commerce/NIST via supplements to existing MEP awards ($500k/yr), and Small Business Administration ($300k/yr). Dept. of Labor, Dept. of Education, and NSF also commit to supporting collaborations. FOA issued on February 8, 2010; full applications due on May 5, This pilot initiative will spur regional economic growth while developing innovative energy efficient building technologies, designs, and systems.

18 What kind of infrastructure support will be provided for the Hubs? Up to $10M in the first year for start-up, including building leasing or rennovation and equipment, but no new construction. The Secretary stated that each Hub would be “ideally under one roof." How will this concept influence the Hub selection process? R&D integration is critical for a successful Hub. Key elements for successful management include: A clear lead institution with strong scientific leadership and central location for the Hub. If geographically distributed, a clear commitment to the use of state-of-the-art technology and frequent virtual meetings to enable meaningful long distance collaboration. A clear organization and management plan for achieving the collaborative and synergistic goals of a Hub and “infusing” a culture of empowered central research management. How will the Hubs be selected, reviewed, and managed? Using procedures now well established in DOE, and particularly SC, for other large FOAs (BRCs, EFRCs,...). How will industry participate in Hubs? Closely and in several ways, with the clear understanding that industrial involvement is vital to technology transfer and ultimate commercialization. Energy Innovation Hubs – Q&A 18 For more Q&A see:

19 Letters of Intent (LOIs) were due on Friday, January 29. LOIs were not required, but were strongly encouraged. LOIs used only for organizing and expediting the merit review of the full applications. Details regarding the LOIs (how many?, what institutions?, etc.) are “procurement sensitive” and cannot be made public. The LOI response was very positive. We anticipate a lively competition with strong applications – full applications are due on March 29. As for the EFRC competition, finding unconflicted peer reviewers will be a challenge. We welcome suggestions or volunteerism from BESAC regarding peer reviewers. We are interested in reviewers with the appropriate technical expertise and those familiar with management of a large, integrated R&D effort. Fuels from Sunlight Hub – Process Update 19


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