Emerging Leaders
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Alexandra Tavasoli

CEO, Solistra

The major challenge with chemically converting carbon dioxide and methane gas into a green fuel, such as hydrogen, is the high energy required to drive the chemical reaction. In traditional chemical processes, this energy is supplied by burning fossil fuels to provide heat at high pressures. These harsh conditions require expensive materials of construction, and have large emissions. In contrast, using a process advanced during her PhD research in the Solar Fuels Group at the University of Toronto, Alex and Solistra’s solar-activated nanomaterials replace 75% of that energy with solar energy, so that a chemical process that is normally run at 1000 C can be run at 250 C, resulting in a safer, less carbon-intensive end product, with lower capital costs.