Skip to main content


Creation of solar-fuels

Research Achievements

Creation of solar-fuels

Erik Koepf, IGERT Trainee, Ph.D. Candidate Advisors: Dr. Suresh G. Advani, Dr. Ajay K. Prasad

The large scale harvesting and storage of solar energy in chemical form, or the creation of solar-fuels, is a promising component of a sustainable energy future. One such application of this approach is water-splitting by ultra-high temperature thermochemical cycles.

A solar-thermochemical reactor design and demonstration project has been underway in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware since the Spring of 2007, as part of UD’s NSF-IGERT Sustainable Energy from Solar Hydrogen Program. The project is in collaboration with the Renewable Energy Carriers Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.

Significant contribution to the field of concentrated power-tower solar-thermal fuels has been made. Demonstration of the novel reactor on the 10-20kW scale has led directly to a US patent issued in 2011.