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California team to receive up to $122 million to develop method to produce fuels from sunlight
Date:7/22/2010

Washington, D.C. As part of a broad effort to achieve breakthrough innovations in energy production, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman today announced an award of up to $122 million over five years to a multidisciplinary team of top scientists to establish an Energy Innovation Hub aimed at developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from sunlight.

The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), to be led by the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), will bring together leading researchers in an ambitious effort aimed at simulating nature's photosynthetic apparatus for practical energy production. The goal of the Hub is to develop an integrated solar energy-to-chemical fuel conversion system and move this system from the bench-top discovery phase to a scale where it can be commercialized.

"The Energy Innovation Hubs have enormous potential to advance transformative breakthroughs," said Deputy Secretary Poneman. "Finding a cost-effective way to produce fuels as plants do -- combining sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide -- would be a game changer, reducing our dependence on oil and enhancing energy security. This Energy Innovation Hub will enable our scientists to combine their talents to tackle this bold and highly promising challenge."

Senator Feinstein said, "I'm very proud that California has been on the cutting-edge of the clean energy movement. With this award, some of California's top scientists will continue to lead the way forward by working together to create 'artificial photosynthesis,' a process that can emulate the inner workings of plant life to produce a useful transportation fuel we can put right into our cars without further processing. If successful, this concept to combine sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to produce a clean fuel would revolutionize the energy se
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Contact: Jeff Sherwood
jeff.sherwood@hq.doe.gov
202-586-4940
DOE/US Department of Energy
Source:Eurekalert

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