Instrumentation standardization and reproducibility to support hands-on solar energy research

Authors

  • Sarah Ann Starcovic Fairmont State University
  • Shannon Knowlton Fairmont State University
  • Shannon Knowlton Fairmont State University
  • Kendra Gillo Homeschool
  • Kendra Gillo Homeschool
  • Erica Harvey Fairmont State University
  • Erica Harvey Fairmont State University

Keywords:

Environmental science, materials science, fuel cells, metal oxides

Abstract

Solar hydrogen fuel generation through water splitting is the ultimate goal of a nationwide solar energy research initiative called the Solar Army.  A fluorescence-based device called HARPOON 1.0 is currently used in the Solar Army to test oxygen-generating capabilities of mixed-metal oxide samples and identify samples that might catalyze water splitting. The West Virginia Brigade of the Solar Army, including First2 Network and high school students, is developing HARPOON 2.0.  Less-complicated, cheaper, and more classroom-friendly, HARPOON 2.0 allows students as young as middle school to carry out real solar energy research. A suspension of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in sodium hydroxide nucleates the formation of oxygen bubbles above the metal oxide samples.  The bubbles are visualized using scattered white light. Progress towards standardization and reproducibility of results obtained from diverse users and samples will be reported. This research was made possible by Fairmont State University College of Science and Technology and NASA WV Space Grant Consortium. 

Author Biographies

Sarah Ann Starcovic, Fairmont State University

Undergraduate Researcher at Fairmont State University

Shannon Knowlton, Fairmont State University

Undergraduate Researcher at Fairmont State University

Shannon Knowlton, Fairmont State University

Undergraduate Researcher at Fairmont State University

Kendra Gillo, Homeschool

High school student researcher

Kendra Gillo, Homeschool

High school student researcher

Erica Harvey, Fairmont State University

Abelina Suarez Professor of Chemistry at Fairmont State University

Erica Harvey, Fairmont State University

Abelina Suarez Professor of Chemistry at Fairmont State University

References

Solar Army: http://thesolararmy.org/

WV Brigade: http://www.fairmontstate.edu/SolarArmyWV

Shaner, Sarah E. et al. “Discovering Inexpensive, Effective Catalysts for Solar Energy Conversion: An Authentic Research Laboratory Experience.” J. Chem. Educ., 2016, 93 (4), p. 650-657.

Xiang, C., S. K. Suram, J. A. Haber, D. W. Guevarra, E. Soedarmadji, J. Jin, and J. M. Gregoire. High-Throughput Bubble Screening Method for Combinatorial Discovery of Electrocatalysts for Water Splitting. Vol. 16, no. 2, ACS Comb. Sci., Jan. 2014, pp. 47-52.

First2 Network (https://first2network.org) National Science Foundation INCLUDES Alliance in support of rural, first-generation STEM student success. (HRD-1834575), 2018-present

Schindelin, J., et al. (2012), "Fiji: an open-source platform for biological-image analysis," Nature Methods 9(7): 676-682, PMID 22743772, doi:10.1038/nmeth.2019

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Published

2020-04-29

How to Cite

Starcovic, S. A., Knowlton, S., Knowlton, S., Gillo, K., Gillo, K., Harvey, E., & Harvey, E. (2020). Instrumentation standardization and reproducibility to support hands-on solar energy research. Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science, 92(1). Retrieved from https://pwvas.org/index.php/pwvas/article/view/647

Issue

Section

Meeting Abstracts-Poster