Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By New Energy And Fuel (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Catalyst Using Light Makes Fuel From Carbon Dioxide

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


Open Image…Save ImageOpen Image (using #TmpD/ia)…

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory scientists have used sunlight and a catalyst largely made of copper to transform carbon dioxide into methanol. A liquid fuel, methanol offers the potential for industry to find an additional source to meet America’s energy needs.  The study has been published in the journal Nature Energy.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is steadily increasing, and some climate scientists believe that it is causing impacts in our environment. Recently, scientists have sought ways to recapture some of the carbon in the atmosphere and recycle the CO2 potentially turn it into usable fuel – which would be a holy grail level discovery for sustainable energy production.

Looking into the hard X-ray nanoprobe synchrotron chamber while measuring a response of an individual cuprous oxide particle to the exposure of carbon dioxide, water and light. Image Credit: Tijana Rajh, Argonne National Laboratory. Click image for the largest view.

The study describes a photocatalyst made of cuprous oxide (Cu2O), a semiconductor that when exposed to light can produce electrons that become available to react with, or reduce, many compounds. After being excited, electrons leave a positive hole in the catalyst’s lower-energy valence band that, in turn, can oxidize water.

Argonne distinguished fellow Tijana Rajh, an author of the study said, “This photocatalyst is particularly exciting because it has one of the most negative conduction bands that we’ve used, which means that the electrons have more potential energy available to do reactions.”

Rajh explained previous attempts to use photocatalysts, such as titanium dioxide, to reduce carbon dioxide tended to produce a whole mish-mash of various products, ranging from aldehydes to methane. The lack of selectivity of these reactions made it difficult to segregate a usable fuel stream.

“Carbon dioxide is such a stable molecule and it results from the burning of basically everything, so the question is how do we fight nature and go from a really stable end product to something useful and energy rich,” Rajh said.

The idea for transforming carbon dioxide into useful energy comes from the one place in nature where this happens regularly. “We had this idea of copying photosynthesis, which uses carbon dioxide to make food, so why couldn’t we use it to make fuel,” Rajh said. “It turns out to be a complex problem, because to make methanol, you need not just one electron but six.”

By switching from titanium dioxide to cuprous oxide, scientists developed a catalyst that not only had a more negative conduction band but that would also be dramatically more selective in terms of its products. This selectivity results not only from the chemistry of cuprous oxide but from the geometry of the catalyst itself.

“With nanoscience, we start having the ability to meddle with the surfaces to induce certain hotspots or change the surface structure, cause strain or certain surface sites to expose differently than they are in the bulk,” Rajh said.

Because of this “meddling,” Rajh and Argonne postdoctoral researcher Yimin Wu, now an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo, managed to create a catalyst with a bit of a split personality. The cuprous oxide microparticles they developed have different facets, much like a diamond has different facets. Many of the facets of the microparticle are inert, but one is very active in driving the reduction of carbon dioxide to methanol.

According to Rajh, the reason that this facet is so active lies in two unique aspects. First, the carbon dioxide molecule bonds to it in such a way that the structure of the molecule actually bends slightly, diminishing the amount of energy it takes to reduce. Second, water molecules are also absorbed very near to where the carbon dioxide molecules are absorbed.

“In order to make fuel, you not only need to have carbon dioxide to be reduced, you need to have water to be oxidized,” Rajh said. “Also, adsorption conformation in photocatalysis is extremely important – if you have one molecule of carbon dioxide absorbed in one way, it might be completely useless. But if it is in a bent structure, it lowers the energy to be reduced.”

Argonne scientists also used scanning fluorescence X-ray microscopy at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) and transmission electron microscopy at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) to reveal the nature of the faceted cuprous oxide microparticles. The APS and CNM are both DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

This technology will fill the anti CO2 in the atmosphere folks with hope. Its truly basic science with only the internal quantum yield noted at ~72%. No mention of the solar energy input is shown in either the press release or the study abstract. Its quite early in this field and this might be seen as a breakthrough someday. But when a little solar collector pours out fuel, that will be a disruptive science both for fuel consumers and the plants that use CO2 for their food.



Source: https://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newenergyandfuel/com/2020/01/02/catalyst-using-light-makes-fuel-from-carbon-dioxide/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com


Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets"  with  Natural Cures THEY don't want you to know!

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Organic Hemp Extract (CBD) - Full Spectrum high CBD (3300mg) hemp extract eases stiff joints, relieves stress and more!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse
Loading...
    Loading...

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.