Mechanistic Studies of Metal-Oxo Cubane Catalysts for Lightweight Solar Fuels Storage
Final rept. 30 Sep 2009-31 Dec 2012
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE
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The use of solar energy for mobile field operations, high altitude long endurance airships, light airship vehicles and its deployment on large scales all require its storage. Most current methods of solar storage are characterized by low energy densities these methods therefore present formidable challenges for the implementation of solar energy in the field, on airship vehicles and on the large scale since significant weight accompanies energy storage. Conversely, fuels have energy densities that are 100 to 1000 greater than most conventional storage media, including batteries. Accordingly, fuels provide an attractive option for lightweight, mobile and large scale energy storage. An especially enticing fuel forming reaction is water splitting since hydrogen is the highest energy density chemical fuel. The use of solar light to split water to produce hydrogen and oxygen is the focus of this proposal. This AFOSR program has sought to discover new water-splitting catalysts that are inexpensive, efficient, highly manufacturable and operate under benign conditions so that discovery from this program may be implemented with simple engineering.
- Electric Power Production and Distribution