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Center for Photoconversion & Catalysis

Renewable energy is becoming an important part of the global energy portfolio. There is also an urgent need to find less expensive ways to utilize not only solar energy, but also conventional and alternative fuels via improved catalysis. The mission of the Center for Photoconversion and Catalysis (CPAC) is to promote and support photoconversion and catalysis research at the University of Wyoming as well as to create and support educational opportunities with renewable energy-related content. CPAC-affiliated faculty are a resource to provide information for the public and for public officials with regard to solar energy, fuel conversion, and fuel cell technologies.


Research at CPAC

Faculty within the CPAC work together to find new ways of generating and utilizing energy - emphasizing conversion of light into both electrical and chemical energy, as well a the closely related catalytic chemistry needed to utilize new and conventional energy forms more cleanly and efficiently.  The resulting knowledge will help minimize energy losses and maximize yields in processes such as biomass conversion, the production of photogenerated fuels, and the conversion of Wyoming's fossil energy sources into cleaner fuels.


The SHArK Project

The goal of this project is to discover metal oxide semiconductors that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight. Currently, no known stable material is capable of efficiently and inexpensively photoelectrolyzing water with visible light. There are millions of compounds that need to be produced and tested for their ability to photoelectrolyze water. We developed inexpensive kits to enable young scientists to participate in this endeavor. The hardware and software was developed that uses an inkjet printer, laser pointer and LEGOs® allowing for virtually endless arrays of potential metal oxide semiconductors to be easily produced and tested.

For more information visit Dr. Parkinson's Chemistry Research Group.

Contact Us

Scott Quillinan

Director of Research & Communications

School of Energy Resources

Dept. 3012, 1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6697


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