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Solar Electricity and Solar Fuels: Status and Perspectives in the Context of the Energy Transition.
Chemistry ; 22(1): 32-57, 2016 Jan 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26584653
ABSTRACT
The energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables is already ongoing, but it will be a long and difficult process because the energy system is a gigantic and complex machine. Key renewable energy production data show the remarkable growth of solar electricity technologies and indicate that crystalline silicon photovoltaics (PV) and wind turbines are the workhorses of the first wave of renewable energy deployment on the TW scale around the globe. The other PV alternatives (e.g., copper/indium/gallium/selenide (CIGS) or CdTe), along with other less mature options, are critically analyzed. As far as fuels are concerned, the situation is significantly more complex because making chemicals with sunshine is far more complicated than generating electric current. The prime solar artificial fuel is molecular hydrogen, which is characterized by an excellent combination of chemical and physical properties. The routes to make it from solar energy (photoelectrochemical cells (PEC), dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells (DSPEC), PV electrolyzers) and then synthetic liquid fuels are presented, with discussion on economic aspects. The interconversion between electricity and hydrogen, two energy carriers directly produced by sunlight, will be a key tool to distribute renewable energies with the highest flexibility. The discussion takes into account two concepts that are often overlooked the energy return on investment (EROI) and the limited availability of natural resources-particularly minerals-which are needed to manufacture energy converters and storage devices on a multi-TW scale.

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Texto completo: Disponível Coleções: Bases de dados internacionais Base de dados: MEDLINE Idioma: Inglês Revista: Chemistry Assunto da revista: Química Ano de publicação: 2016 Tipo de documento: Artigo