€5m for bright minds that turn sunlight into fuel

Researchers and innovators are being offered €5 million (£4.4m) for the best prototype that produces sustainable fuel by combining sunlight, water and carbon from the air. The European Commission’s competition was launched at the One Planet Summit in Paris yesterday. The applicants will have to build a fully functional, experimental prototype device of a fuel […]

Solar panel “photosynthesis” creates burnable fuel

New solar panels use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuel. A team from Chicago’s University of Illinois have developed the solar cell, which works like a leaf during photosynthesis. It produces a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide known as synthetic gas that can be burned directly or converted into diesel and other fuels. […]

US ‘Fuels from Sunlight’ hub bags $75m

An initiative aimed at producing fuels using the power of the sun has received a $75 million (£48.8m) boost. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is providing the grant to renew the Joint Centre for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), which was initially established in 2010. Under the renewal plan, the five-year old centre will receive funding […]

New system cuts fuel use in gas-fired power plants

A new technology that adds solar energy to existing gas-fired power plants promises to cut fuel use by 20%. Researchers at the US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) claims their system (pictured) converts natural gas and sunlight into a more “energy-rich fuel” called syngas, which power plants can burn to generate electricity. The system uses […]

Carbon ‘sponge’ soaks up gases from coal power station

Australian researchers have discovered a new material which acts like a carbon ‘sponge’ and could suck in gas emissions from coal power stations. The energy efficient material absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide then releases it when exposed to sunlight, according to the study published this week in Angewandte Chemie, a German chemistry magazine. Scientists […]