Technology Review has named WILLIAM CHUEH, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, to its annual TR35 list of 35 top innovators under age 35.
Chueh was honored for developing a technology using heat that is otherwise wasted to boost the efficiency of solar fuel production. Most current approaches to solar energy rely on the photovoltaic effect, first converting light to electricity and then to fuel.
By contrast, Chueh’s method uses heat from concentrated sunlight to convert water intro hydrogen or water and carbon dioxide into methane—fuels that can be stored and transported. Increased chemical reaction rates at elevated temperatures enhance the solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency significantly.
Also recognized by Technology Review were Stanford alumni, including CHRISTINA FAN, REN NG, SHANNON MILLER, LEILA TAKAYAMA and ZHENG WANG.
The TR35 list recognizes the world’s top young innovators, spanning biotechnology, computer and electronics hardware and software, energy, the Web and nanotechnology, among other emerging fields.