The Solar Fuels I-CORE is empowered by a spectrum of disciplines and incorporates scientists from Israel’s top universities.
Research expertise includes: biology, biotechnology, biophysics, chemical engineering, chemistry, computational biology, genetics, genomics, metabolomics and materials engineering.
The Solar Fuels I-CORE research directions include biomass generation; solar water splitting technology as well as CO2 reduction, and the exploration of how molecular building blocks such as H2, CO, CO2, methanol and ethanol can be converted into larger, liquid fuel molecules.
Targeted future energy sources include:
The fuels will be derived from:
The processing of energy-rich biomass.
Photoelectrolysis and photocatalytic splitting of water and CO2 reduction.
Oils originating from photosynthetic organisms, namely, plants and algae.
Fig. 1: Process and material flow diagram for the production of solar fuels
The novelty of this strategy is based on the discovery of new key genes and on the engineering of new metabolic pathways that can be used to develop plants and algae suited to biofuel production.
The I-CORE team is combining the rational design of metabolic pathways with screening for unexplored natural biodiversity better suited for biomass production in dryland areas and in conventional agriculture.
The research is focusing on the following procedures:
Fig. 2: Segments and inter-relations of the Solar Fuels I-CORE activities
This range of highly specialized research activities is supported and enabled by state-of-the-art infrastructure at the three partnering universities.