Media

Inexpensive catalyst developed, converts carbon dioxide into synthetic fuels

10:38 AM, 24th June 2013
University of Delaware Research News
(From left) Joel Rosenthal, Chemist, University of Delaware and doctoral student John DiMeglio.

DELAWARE, US: Joel Rosenthal, Chemist, University of Delaware and doctoral student John DiMeglio have developed an inexpensive catalyst that converts carbon dioxide into synthetic fuels for powering cars, homes and businesses. The catalyst uses the electricity generated from solar energy for this conversion. The research is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Rosenthal and his team used bismuth catalyst instead of gold and silver. An ounce of bismuth is 50 to 100 times cheaper than an ounce of silver, and 2,000 times cheaper than an ounce of gold, said Rosenthal. Bismuth is more plentiful than gold and silver, it is well distributed globally and is a byproduct in the refining of lead, tin and copper.

According to Rosenthal, the UD-patented catalyst offers other important advantages: selectivity and efficiency in converting carbon dioxide to fuel.

“Most catalysts do not selectively make one compound when combined with carbon dioxide - they make a whole slew. Our goal was to develop a catalyst that was extremely selective in producing carbon monoxide and to power the reaction using solar energy,” explained Rosenthal.

“Many of us hear carbon monoxide and think poison. It’s true that you do not want to be in a closed room with carbon monoxide, but carbon monoxide is very valuable as a commodity chemical because it’s extremely energy rich and has many uses,” said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal said that if carbon dioxide emissions become taxed in the future due to continuing concerns about global warming, his solar-driven catalyst for making synthetic fuel will compete even better economically with fossil fuels.

“This catalyst is a critically important linchpin. Using solar energy to drive the production of liquid fuels such as gasoline from CO2 is one of the holy grails in renewable energy research. In order to do this on a practical scale, inexpensive catalysts that can convert carbon dioxide to energy-rich compounds are needed. Our discovery is important in this regard, and demonstrates that development of new catalysts and materials can solve this problem. Chemists have a big role to play in this area,” said Rosenthal.

“With this advance, there are at least a dozen things we need to follow up on. One successful study usually leads to more questions and possibilities, not final answers,” added Rosenthal.

Through the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED summer research programme, budding scientists from nearby Newark High School will join Rosenthal’s team for further study of this bismuth-based catalyst.

© University of Delaware News

1 Comments

Login

Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Sanath Jun 27 2013, At 06:20 am

highest honor is in order. congrats!!!

Related News


Towards efficiency in thermoelectric nanowires

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: Efficiency is big in the tiny world of thermoelectric nanowires. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories say better mater ...

Read more
Arkema completes acquisition of Bostik

COLOMBES, FRANCE: Arkema finalized the acquisition of Bostik, the world’s no. 3 in adhesives. With this acquisition, the Group reaches a new mil ...

Read more
Sumitomo to acquire compound semiconductor materials business of Hitachi Metals

TOKYO, JAPAN: Sumitomo Chemical has agreed to acquire compound semiconductor materials business of Hitachi Metals, Ltd. The acquisition is due to take ...

Read more
Air Liquide to invest €60 million in air separation unit in Australia

PARIS, FRANCE: Air Liquide announced a new long-term agreement in Australia with Nyrstar, an integrated mining and metals company. Air Liquide will in ...

Read more
Cheaper, cleaner method for bioethanol production using nitrogen gas

BLOOMINGTON, US: Indiana University biologists believe they have found a faster, cheaper and cleaner way to increase bioethanol production by using ni ...

Read more
New sticky labels to check self-cleaning glass

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND: Reusable colour-changing sticky labels that act as a cheap and easy way to check the activity of photocatalysis-based self- ...

Read more
Copyright © 2014. Kimberlite Softwares Pvt. Ltd., India. All rights reserved.
World of Chemicals.