A transformative vision for a sustainable-fuel future, built on an economically viable and secure energy supply, postulates that CO2 is not a waste product to dread, but rather a valuable and bountiful feedstock for making energy-rich renewable fuels in a carbon-neutral, closed-carbon-cycle. To capitalize on this global challenge, the UofT Connaught Solar Fuels Cluster proposes a paradigm shift in renewable energy science for truly productive advances in CO2-to-fuel conversion science and technology.
Our proposal identifies nanostructured materials as the winning photocatalysts for the conversion of CO2-to-fuel with synergistic cross-disciplinary research and innovation targeted towards creating significant impacts and benefits to collaborators, the university, and society. Our dynamic team of materials chemists, along with a range of engineering scientists (chemical, materials, photonic, electrical, computational and process engineering), have established “evolutionary maturity” in this novel research program. Our early breakthroughs have already placed the UofT Solar Fuels Cluster at the cutting edge in CO2 capture and conversion chemistry in the lab.
Our greatest target is the recruitment and training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), who will not only contribute actively to the research program, but who will consequently begin to grow a unique solar fuels renewable energy talent pool, as the cornerstone of a new global cleantech subsector in CO2-to-fuel conversion.