Robert Palumbo, professor of Mechanical Engineering and Frederick F. Jenny Jr., Professor of Emerging Technology at Valparaiso University have recently embarked on the Solar Thermal Electrolysis Project, a five-year research project funded by a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The researchers are currently working on improved ways to run cars on solar energy by concentrating sunlight to heat a solar reactor that converts zinc oxide into metallic zinc, which would be utilized as a storable, transferable fuel to be used when & where it’s needed.