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Sunlight and water are the two most abundant and most basic resources available on Earth. Plants long ago adapted to this reality, evolving means of harnessing these two resources for their energy needs—now humans are trying to follow suit.
Chemists and materials scientists are developing photochemical and photoelectrochemical techniques for splitting water, in order to store solar energy as hydrogen fuel.
With the goal of producing a technology that has industrial application and meaningful societal impact, there is now heightened interest in the design of commercial-scale solar fuels reactors.
In the latest in our academic seminar series, Churchill MCR student Dave Palm looks at the viability of commercial-scale solar fuels reactors and how his project aims to scale-up both the materials fabrication and the reactor design toward this end.
Dave is a Churchill Scholar undertaking a Master of Philosophy degree in Chemistry, conducting research on solar and alternative energy technologies. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Dave has also studied energy technologies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and has participated in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at Pennsylvania State University.