Monday, February 7, 2011

Turning sunlight into fuel

"At the California Institute of Technology, they're developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars," President Obama said in his Jan. 25 State of the Union address. He was referring to the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, or JCAP, where a team of California scientists are taking a multi-pronged approach to try to engineer a clean, cheap energy source from the sun.

How did JCAP get started?

Lewis: There was a national competition to form a Department of Energy hub; 20 consortia applied as teams. The team led by myself, with my colleagues at Caltech, some of the UCs, Stanford, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, won that competition.

We have a California-based team of 200 scientists working on nothing else but fuels from sunlight.