Solar Chemical

Creating gasoline and methanol using Solar Power

Sandia National Laboratory, a major United States Department of Energy lab, has developed a process called S2P, or Sunshine to Petrol. This technology uses solar concentration, and the high temperatures produced from this process, plus a zirconia/ferrite catalyst to break down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into oxygen and carbon monoxide (CO) They then use the CO to help synthesize fuels like, methanol, jet fuel and gasoline.

Photoelectrochemical cells, or PEC's, have a semiconductor that is immersed in an electrolyte. When this semiconductor is illuminated, there is an electrical potential that develops. There are two main types of photoelectrochemicals, these are photoelectric cells that convert light into electricity; and photochemical cells that use the light to drive chemical reactions like electrolysis.

There is yet another solar chemical process. A photogalvanic device is a type of battery where the cell solution forms chemical intermediates when they are illuminated. These intermediates react to the electrodes to produce electrical potential. One example of this process is the ferric thionine chemical cell.



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