Lighting the way for new solar fuels science

A quintet of Yale researchers — Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Nilay Hazari, Patrick Holland, James Mayer, and Hailiang Wang — are among the principal investigators (PI) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s $40 million Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE).

CHASE, which involves six scientific institutions, will be based at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Yale’s portion of the funding is $6.27 million over five years, and will support dozens of graduate student and postdoctoral co-workers on Science Hill and in the Energy Sciences Institute at West Campus.

Hazari and Holland spoke with YaleNews about the new project.

What are solar fuels and how could they benefit society?

Hazari: A solar fuel is a synthetic chemical produced from sunlight that can be used to store and release energy in a similar fashion to fossil fuels. Generating fuels from sunlight is valuable because the sun is our

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