Dr. Salehi-Khojin leads research at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)’s Nanomaterials and Energy System Laboratory, which focuses on novel ways to reduce carbon dioxide production. In July 2016, he and his team at the UIC announced the development of a solar cell that mimics photosynthesis. The “leaf” absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, using solar energy, converts the greenhouse gas into a synthetic fuel—at a cost roughly equivalent to that of producing gasoline. He envisages ‘artificial leaves located in tandem with solar farms at places where the syngas can be used onsite. If the arrays are located near chemical plants, factories or fossil-fuel-fired power plants, they can tap the carbon dioxide emitted from those operations, avoiding its release into the atmosphere and essentially recycling it into more fuel.’
Dr Salehi-Khojin received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University.