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Current issue

ELEKTRO 12/2017 was released on December 6th 2017. Its digital version will be available on January 5th 2018.

Topic: Measurement, measuring devices and engineering; Testing and diagnostics

Main Article
Measurements on rotating machines using SFRA method
Application possibilities of ultra-capacitors or LiFePO4 batteries in trolley network of the Brno Public Transit Company

SVĚTLO (Light) 6/2017 was released on December 11th 2017. Its digital version will be available on january 11th 2018.

Lighting installations
The lighting of university building Centrale Supélec in Saclay in France
The light for our future

Daylight
Application and judgment light guides Solatube®

Solar cell captures CO2 and sunlight, produces burnable fuel

29.07.2016 | UIC | news.uic.edu

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.

Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once. A solar farm of such “artificial leaves” could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.

Solar cell changing CO2 into fuel

While plants produce fuel in the form of sugar, the artificial leaf delivers syngas, or synthesis gas, a mixture of hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide. Syngas can be burned directly, or converted into diesel or other hydrocarbon fuels. The ability to turn CO2 into fuel at a cost comparable to a gallon of gasoline would render fossil fuels obsolete.

The technology should be adaptable not only to large-scale use, like solar farms, but also to small-scale applications. In the future, it may prove useful on Mars, whose atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, if the planet is also found to have water.

Read more at UIC

Image Credit: UIC

-jk-