On-Farm Conversion of Solar Energy, Water, and Carbon Dioxide to Hydrocarbon Fuel

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2018-33610-28337
Agency Tracking Number: 2018-00187
Amount: $99,582.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.12
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-04-30
Small Business Information
89 RUMFORD AVE, Auburndale, MA, 02466-1311
DUNS: 066594979
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kailash Patil
 Materials Scientist
 (781) 529-0537
Business Contact
 Cortney Mittelsteadt
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (781) 529-0529
Email: cmittelsteadt@ginerinc.com
Research Institution
Fossil fuels are the dominant energy source in the agriculture sector, comprising a large fraction of farming operational expenditures and emitting CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Despite recent market penetration, renewable energy adoption on farms remains low. Large capital costs, intermittency, and immobility of renewable energy prevents adoption on small and mid-size farms. A particularly detrimental limitation is that electricity produced by solar photovoltaics cannot power fuel-consuming devices (i.e., tractors, furnaces, generators). As an alternative, solar fuels represent a broad array of chemical compounds produced when incident solar energy drives a set of chemical reactions that convert water and CO2 to storable and transportable fuels. Solar-to-fuel generation can be performed in a decentralized fashion, offering substantial opportunity for small and mid-size farms to generate their own fuels onsite.To increase renewable energy utilization and reduce CO2 emissions on small and mid-sized farms, Giner will design an intermediate-temperature device, called a Solid Oxide Photoelectrochemical Cell (SOPC), which converts sunlight, waste CO2, and H2O into combustible hydrocarbon fuel. The SOPC will offer higher efficiencies, conversions, production rates, and current densities than incumbent technologies. Giner's SOPC will be housed in a solar concentrator, which will focus photons onto the SOPC and heat the device. The product fuel (i.e., synthetic natural gas or diesel) will be compatible with typical farming applications. This technology will also reduce fuel consumption costs for small and mid-size farms, offering a financial incentive to implement renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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