Solar Fuels

Harvesting sunlight to meet our world's increasing energy demand

Developing new nanomaterials to capture sunlight and convert it into renewable fuels such as hydrogen, ammonia, and hydrocarbons.

To meet the net zero emissions target while still meeting our increasing energy demand, we must develop a sustainable energy economy. The sun is the Earth’s most abundant, renewable energy resource. Australia has the highest solar radiation per square metre and consequently some of the best solar energy resources in the world. Sun-powered future ‘factories’ to make solar fuels have the potential to meet our clean energy needs.

We are striving to harvest and utilise sunlight to meet our world’s increasing energy demand using Earth-abundant resources – without use of fossil fuels.

We will create new nanomaterials and chemical processes to enable the future ‘solar fuel factories’ to capture and “bottle” sunlight in the form of energy-rich, renewable fuels, such as hydrogen, ammonia, and hydrocarbons.

To achieve the overarching goal, we will:

  • Expand knowledge and create new technology in materials discovery, mechanistic understanding, theoretical modelling, and testing protocols.
  • Establish collaboration with leading industry partners and CSIRO.
  • Collaborate with world renowned scientists in photovoltaics, nanomaterials and solar fuels.
  • Strengthen our connections with Australian universities to gather a stronger team for national fund bid, such as ARC Centre of Excellence.
  • Exploit the entire sunlight-to-fuel value chain and identify how the solar fuels can interact with upstream feedstocks, such as CO2 and water, downstream energy and chemical users, and existing energy and fuels infrastructures.


Anita Ho-Baillie

John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience
  • Room 4013 Sydney Nanoscience Hub A31

Fengwang Li

  • Room 472 Chemical Engineering J01