An emissions-free energy system is necessary to address the crisis of global climate change. Solar and wind generation can supply clean power, but effectively storing this energy and delivering it to users is a colossal challenge. Carbon-neutral liquid fuels, made from air and renewable energy, are expected to be an ideal solution. These fuels can be easily stored and transported, and their subsequent use results in zero total emissions. The NTFL is developing materials and systems, including graphenated carbon nanotubes, boron-doped diamond, and ionic liquids, for capturing carbon dioxide from air and electrochemically converting carbon dioxide to liquid fuel.
As part of the 2017 Energy Research Seed Fund program, the Duke University Energy Initiative has awarded the NTFL a grant to study the electrochemical production of clean fuels. This work is performed in collaboration with Professor Weitao Yang, whose group performs quantum chemistry calculations of electrochemical reactions at catalyst surfaces. This feedback between experiment and simulation will enable rational design of materials and systems for converting renewable energy into clean fuels.
Contact Dr. Matt Kirley for additional information.