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New Method Revolutionizes Creation of Solar Fuels
[ Issue 152 Page 2 ] Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 22:44:48 Chan Ju Chong Junior Reporter martinc2907@gmail.com

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) and Berkeley Lab’s Materials Project have made great advances in the energy industry by developing a process that expedites the discovery of solar fuels. Solar fuels are cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels and are therefore highly sought-after. The splitting of water molecules is a crucial step in the creation of solar fuels, and photo-anodes — materials capable of splitting water using light as an energy source — play an essential role in the process. The research team identified 12 new photoanodes, adding to the list of 16 which have been discovered over the past four decades. The team’s novel method of screening for photo-anodes combines experimental and computational techniques by first selecting suitable compounds from a database, then winnowing down to the batch of the most promising candidates using “high throughput” experimentation. The details of the findings have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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