The SOFI Blog

We’ll keep you updated on news and developments in the solar fuels and renewable energy field. Topics include science, industry, and energy policy. Check back regularly to get our take on what you need to know, what’s interesting, and what we’re reading around the web.

#OnePlanet – A Recommitment in Paris

December 2017 saw another monumental event in Paris – the One Planet Summit. Co-organized by French President, Emmanuel Macron, the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the One Planet...

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Commercializing Carbon Neutral Crude

This July, Nordic Blue Crude AS (NBC) announced their intentions to build a commercial scale facility in Herøya, Norway that will produce the synthetic crude oil referred to as “Blue Crude”. Proven out in Dresden, Germany over the past 3 years, Blue Crude is ready for...

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Coming in at Number 4…

When we saw the World Economic Forums’ list of Top Ten Emerging Technologies of 2017 ranked “a liquid fuel from sunlight” at number 4, we were elated. The diverse list compiled by the WEF and Scientific American advisory board, included solar fuels technology amongst many other amazing and exciting technologies that have potential to significantly impact society. Appropriately, the main criteria require that a technology have the potential to: “…improve lives, transform industries and safeguard the planet.” Touting the ability of a solar fuel to be made from CO2 the WEF said…

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Floating Solar Farms – Reclaiming Unusable Land for Energy Generation

The announcement of the world’s largest floating solar-farm coming online didn’t grab as many headlines as it should have.

Located on a lake created by rain water flooding a former coal-mining town, this floating solar farm in the eastern part of China’s Anhui province – a coal rich region in the central part of the country – leverages the cooling aspect of the water’s surface and takes advantage of the large surface area unsuitable for nearly any other human use. As Irina Slav says in her OilPrice.com piece, also published in Business Insider, the whole situation is rather poetic – a former coal mining town is now home to a solar farm…

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Making Pickles out of Thin Air

The idiom in the English language “out of thin air” is typically used to describe magic and slight-of-hand. While pulling a rabbit from thin air is logically impossible, making something from the complex mixture we call “air” is very possible. Around the world scientists and engineers are working to develop technologies that can capture dilute molecules in the atmosphere and put them to work for society.

The world’s first commercial carbon dioxide (CO2) capture facility in Hinwil, Switzerland, is actively capturing CO2 directly from the air! Climeworks AG, a Swiss company, built and operates this first-of-its-kind facility near Zurich…

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SOFI and Methanol Institute Establish Strategic Partnership

SOFI is pleased to announce that we recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Methanol Institute (MI) establishing a Strategic Partnership between the two organizations to collaborate on areas of mutual interest.

The Methanol Institute (MI) serves as the global trade association for one of the world’s most vibrant and innovative industries. Founded in 1989, MI represents methanol producers, distributors, and technology providers around the globe…

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University of Calgary Post-doc Postions

In 2016, the University of Calgary was awarded $75 million over seven years from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) for its initiative entitled: “Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources”. The goal of this research is to dramatically reduce the impact of energy extraction and energy use on the environment. As part of the implementation of its CFREF scientific strategy and to address the Grand Challenge aiming to develop next generation of CO2 conversion catalysis, a project in the production climate neutral synthetic fuels through electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction is seeking team members…

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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…

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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…

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