STTR Phase I: Plasmonic Carbon dioxide to fuel photocatalysis by solar energy

Period of Performance: 01/01/2016 - 12/31/2016

$224K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Solargasoline LLC
9 Capitol St
Concord, NH 03301
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Massachusetts Lowell
1 University Ave.
Lowell, MA 01854
Institution POC

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in the development of a transformative carbon dioxide sequestration technology that can convert carbon dioxide and water directly into gasoline fuels with unprecedented efficiency, with sunlight as the only energy input. The technology is based on earth abundant metals as photo-catalysts, is environment- friendly, and potentially can be used to mass-produce gasoline fuels at very low-cost. The ability to convert carbon dioxide into useful renewable energy source will not only decrease the carbon footprint but also transform the current energy infrastructure and reduce our country's energy dependence on fossil fuels. This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is focused on developing a nano-enabled plasmonic photosynthesis technology for converting carbon dioxide into gasoline fuels in the presence of solar radiation. Preliminary laboratory scale experiments have demonstrated a solar-to-chemicals peak conversion efficiency of 8 to 10%. The proposal focuses on designing and building a bench-top semi-batch reactor to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the process and assess its technical and commercial potential for future scale up.