Today at Berkeley Lab

Greener Days Ahead for Carbon Fuels

A discovery by researchers at Berkeley Lab and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis shows that recycling carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals and fuels can be economical and efficient – all through a single copper catalyst. More>

This Multitasking Solar Cell Makes Hydrogen Fuel and Electricity at the Same Time

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, have developed an artificial photosynthesis device called a “hybrid photoelectrochemical and voltaic (HPEV) cell” that turns sunlight and water into two types of energy – hydrogen fuel and electricity. More>

Early Career LDRD Spotlight: Peter Agbo Looks to Nature for Better Fuels

Just three years after joining Berkeley Lab as a postdoc, Peter Agbo — a researcher with the Chemical Sciences Division and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) — is entering the next stage of his young career. He is leading a team in the design of inorganic catalysts modeled after natural enzymes to efficiently convert carbon dioxide into fuels. More>

Lab Researchers Evaluate Path Toward Artificial Photosynthesis

Artificial photosynthesis is a promising technology for turning sunlight into low-carbon fuels, but electrochemical systems typically yield product mixtures that must be separated, increasing both system and process complexity as well as energy requirements. Jeffery Greenblatt of the Energy Technologies Area and co-authors from the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis discuss these issues in a study published in Joule.

Scientists Solve a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

A Berkeley Lab-led research team has discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. The findings could be relevant to other battery materials, and could steer the design of next-generation batteries towards workarounds that avoid these newly identified pitfalls. More>

Lab Pursues Low-Cost Hydrogen Generation

To mark Hydrogen Day, celebrated on Oct. 8 since its atomic weight is 1.008, we feature researchers Adam Weber and Nem Danilovic, who believe hydrogen can play a major role in a clean energy system. They, along with scientists at the Molecular Foundry and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, are pursuing low-cost efficient technologies for hydrogen generation. More>

Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion

Lab scientists have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies tackling the challenge of creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use. More>

Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

In a big step toward sun-powered fuel production, scientists at Berkeley Lab have used artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons at efficiencies greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel. More>

Scientists Developing Innovative Techniques for High-Resolution Analysis of Hybrid Materials

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new method of analyzing the molecular-scale structure of organo-lead halide perovskites, a promising class of materials that could energize the solar cell industry. They combined advanced X-ray spectroscopy measurements with calculations based on fundamental, “first principles” theory to obtain an atomic-scale view of the material. More>

New Materials Could Turn Water into the Fuel of the Future

In just two years, Berkeley Lab and Caltech scientists have nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels. They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of a commercially viable generation of solar fuels. The research involved NERSC, the Molecular Foundry, and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. More>