We’re a global team of scientists with one goal:

make a carbon neutral fuel from

sunlight, water and air.

Help us fight climate change and solve the energy crisis. Join us.

Learn More

The SOFI team dreams big. We believe the development of a carbon neutral solar fuel is the greatest energy opportunity of our lifetime. Using just sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water, we can create a clean liquid fuel that could someday power our cars, airplanes, and homes without contributing to climate change. But it won’t happen without a commitment to supporting research and collaboration. Our members include academic pioneers and industry leaders who are dedicated to working together, with us, to shape a new energy landscape. 

SOFI at the United Nations

SOFI Managing Director Dick Co was invited to speak at the United Nations Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum on Sustainable Development Goals.

“…make government funded research massively more accessible for innovators around the world.”


Putting “CO2 Back to Work” was the topic of a New York Times Science piece quotes SOFI’s Dick Co:

“The big challenge is, how do we go from milligrams to megatons?…How do we make a dent in our energy portfolio when people are working in test tubes today?”

Viktor Koen

Viktor Koen

Stay up to date on our projects & what we’re reading and writing about.
Knowledge Map

SOFI Knowledge Map: Have you ever wanted to be able to organize all of the information from the research publications you read? Check out the SOFI Knowledge Map. It uses a custom solar fuels taxonomy to help capture and organize the data, facts, and metrics in solar fuels literature.


Demonstration Project

SOFI Demonstration Project: We have a 4 phase plan in place to build this initial version on a demonstration scale to utilize solar power, water, and carbon dioxide to produce methanol. One attractive feature of the SOFI Demo Project is that the entire system is modular. This provides the opportunity to understand and overcome the challenges of building an integrated unit, as well as to partner with frontline researchers and engineers to incorporate new technologies as the field develops. SOFI’s goal is to seed many versions of the Demo Project, where we are able to move technologies from research labs to a demonstration scale testing module by proving the field with performance metrics and access to hands on time with an operating integrated system. We know the SOFI Demo Project can assist and accelerate laboratory research through collaboration and community development.

From the Blog

A gem of a new energy journal – Joule

At the end of February, Cell Press, an imprint of Elsevier, launched their newest
journal – Joule. Joule is the second Cell Press journal with an emphasis on the physical sciences (Chem launched in July 2016) and their first with a specific focus on energy research.

Editor-in-Chief, Philip Earis, describes Joule as a “distinctive and forward-looking journal, bridging disciplines and scales of energy research.” His vision for Joule is to provide a publication home for all areas of sustainable energy research, including: scientific, technical, economic, policy, and social. SOFI agrees…

2nd International Solar Fuels Conference (ISF-2)

July 6th 2017, at the University of San Diego, the 2nd International Solar Fuels Conference will commence. The next 4 days will be filled with presentations and demonstrations of cutting-edge work by professors, researchers, and industrial specialists from across the US and around the world. Attendees are experts in their fields and they represent the many disciplines relating to solar fuels research. Presentations and discussions will cover a range of topics from biological approaches to more purely chemical pathways to technoeconomic analysis of current market positions, there will be something for everyone at ISF-2…

Phase 1: Complete

Back in February 2016 we announced the commencement of the building phase of the SOFI Demonstration Project. Our plan designated four phases of development:

Phase 1: CO2 to Methanol conversion
Phase 2: H2 generation from water splitting
Phase 3: Renewable energy incorporation
Phase 4: CO2 capture
This past April Alex Grant, a graduate student in the Notestein research group at Northwestern University, began working on Phase 1 of the SOFI Demo Project – the CO2 to Methanol reactor. After 6 months of building, coding, and tweaking – the first drops of methanol dripped from the reactor’s condenser…

“Because SOFI is scouting the industry for promising technologies instead of pitching its own wares, it represents an ideal partnership target.”

Lux Research “Alternative Fuels Journal” 9-2013