Ehrman Presents at Sustainability WorkshopChBE Associate Professor Sheryl Ehrman recently presented research on optimizing the use of solar energy at the first A. James Clark School of Engineering Sustainability Workshop, held in honor of Earth Day. The workshop invites faculty, students and guests from industry and government to present and propose ways to maximize technology's positive impact on the long-term availability of natural resources, and to minimize its negative impact.
Ehrman explained that while people are increasingly enthusiastic about making solar energy a more widespread alternative to fossil fuels, one of its problems is intermittencyit's not always sunny and sooner or later it's going to be night. In order to get the most out of solar energy, we need to be able to store it effectively. Ehrman's research group and collaborators are exploring the use of photoelectrochemical (PEC) systems to convert sunlight into hydrogen split from water. The hydrogen could then be stored and transported for use as an energy source. The team is currently developing a screening platform to discover inexpensive, benign precursors required for safe and affordable PEC systems that can be manufactured with a minimum of waste.
Ehrman's 15 minute presentation can be viewed online at the Clark School's MediaSite. Watch the video »
Published May 8, 2009