Document

Report
Berkeley
Lab
Helios Project
In the last 100 years, the Earth
warmed up by ~1°C
Temperature over
the last 420,000 years
Consumption of Energy Increased
by 85% between 1970 and 1999
Quadrillion Btu
By 2020, Consumption will Triple
700
History
Projections
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1999 2005 2010 2015 2020
Global energy consumption
(1998)
5
4.52
4
2.7
3
2.96
TW
2
1.21
0.828
1
0.286
0.286
0
Oil
Gas
Total: 12.8 TW
Coal
Nuclear
Hydro Biomass
Renewable
U.S.: 3.3 TW (99 Quads)
Helios
Solve the challenge of efficiently generating
chemical fuel at low cost using solar energy
Photosynthesis
cheap but inefficient
Solar Driven Electrolysis
efficient but expensive
Berkeley Lab
Broad-based Energy Strategy
Fusion
Carbon
sequestration
Energy Efficiency
geothermal
Helios
Computation
and Modeling
Fossil recovery
Helios
Nanoscience
Carbon
dioxide
Biology
methanol
ethanol
hydrogen
hydrocarbons
Water
Helios
Plants
Cellulose
Cellulose-degrading
microbes
Engineered
photosynthetic microbes
and plants
Artificial
Photosynthesis
PV
Electricity
Methanol
Ethanol
Hydrogen
Hydrocarbons
Electrochemistry
The Target

Light-to-Fuel at 10% Power Efficiency

$ 3/GJ (= Gasoline at $0.4/ Gallon)

Carbon Neutral

Manufacturable and Sustainable

Storable and Transportable Fuel
(energy density Spec.)
Energy Density Spec.
Energy Density sorted by Wh/l
Material
Volumetric
Gravimetric
Diesel
10,942Wh/l
13762Wh/kg
Gasoline
9,700 Wh/l
12,200 Wh/kg
LNG
7,216 Wh/l
12,100 Wh/kg
Propane
6,600 Wh/l
13,900 Wh/kg
Ethanol
6,100 Wh/l
7,850 Wh/kg
Methanol
4,600 Wh/l
6,400 Wh/kg
Liquid H2
2,600 Wh/l
39,000* Wh/kg
Some benchmarks to consider

Biomass-to-fuel: From ~0.35% to 3.6%
– At 3.6% efficiency, 100M acres of arable land (25% of total currently
farmed land) will supply all fuel for transportation based on current fuel
efficiency.


Light-to-electricity: 20% efficiency at mass production, $0.02/KWh
Electricity-to-chemical storage:
– Presently at most 50% energy efficient; over-voltage to drive rates
– Water to hydrogen 4 electrons; CO2 to methanol six electrons

Direct solar-to-fuel
– Sunlight oxidizing water: 1.23 volts
– Overall Power Efficiency Requirement: 10%

Fuel interconversion:
– 95% selective
– Greater than10,000 turnovers/sec/site
Combine Nanoscience and Biological
Research at LBNL
10 nm
Scale of the Helios problem
requires breaking down the
stovepipes
EETD
Chemical
Foundry
ALS
Science
Nanoscience
Synthetic Biology
NERSC
JGI
Earth Science
NCEM
Microbial production of fuels
Energy sources
Platforms
Fuels
Syngas (CO + H2)
Alkanes
Archae (methanogen)
Alcohols
Sunlight + CO2
Synechocystis
Cellulose
Starch
Hydrogen
E. coli
Yeast
Microbial fuels

Energy production
– Production of hydrogen or ethanol
– Efficient conversion of waste into energy
– Conversion of sunlight into hydrogen
Lignocellulose


Nearly universal component of biomass
Consists of three types of polymers:
– Cellulose
– Hemicellulose
– Lignin

All three are degraded by bacteria and
fungi
Component
Cellulose
Hemicellulose
Lignin
Percent Dry Weight
40-60%
20-40%
10-25%
Lignocellulose
Cellulose harvesting
http://www.bio.umass.edu/micro/images/facbios/leschine2.jpg
Cellulose to Fuel
Improve upon the microbial degradation of
lignocellulosic materials
Catalysts
robust enzymes
artificial catalysts
Better microbes
selectivity
rates
reduced toxicity
Separations
Extract ethanol from water
Tractable cellulose
decrease crystallinity
decrease lignin
Some “natural” biofuels
Botryococcus braunii
Challenges: To understand the mechanisms
(genes and enzymes) of hydrocarbon synthesis
in natural organisms
 build entirely new pathways
Direct Solar to Fuel
•Linked light absorption charge transfer catalyst units
•Biomimetic assembly
•Integration Into a range of “membranes”
ASU
Design of catalytic active sites
Biomimetic active site design
--embedded in 3D nanostructure for product separation on the
nanoscale
Novel Catalytic Microenvironments
Organic
dendrimers
inorganic dendrimers
and micelles
Inorganic
channels
•control fluctuations
•control “flow” of reactants and products
PNNL
Helios metrics for success
The goal of Helios is to provide a significant
breakthrough within ten years
Science and technology trajectory analysis:
Fuels







Identify key decision points
Address showstoppers as quickly as possible
Bi-annual international workshops to assess progress
Annual plan
Milestones and goals for ensuing three years
Semi-annual reporting
Annual Helios retreat/review with external reviewers
Berkeley Lab
Helios Project
Further Information:
Elaine Chandler, [email protected]
510 486-6854

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