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


Marubeni to distribute Canada Lithium’s lithium carbonate in Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN: Marubeni Corporation has signed a three-year distributorship agreement of Lithium Carbonate with Canada Lithium Corp. The agreement prov ...

Read more
Mitsubishi licenses Oxo T-process technology to QP- Shell JV

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation reached a mutual agreement with Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Shell Chemicals to license its production techn ...

Read more
Dow Corning to cut 500 jobs, aligns cost structure

MIDLAND, US: The Dow Corning Corporation intends to reduce global employment by approximately 500 people in the coming weeks, mostly in the profession ...

Read more
BP, Sempra start full commercial operation of Mehoopany Wind Farm

LONDON, UK: BP Wind Energy and Sempra US Gas & Power announced that the Mehoopany Wind Farm has moved into full commercial operation. The wind far ...

Read more
Scientists engineer algae to make fuel from sunlight

CALIFORNIA, US: Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics - ...

Read more
Sapphire Energy appoints new CFO, Thomas Willardson

SAN DIEGO, US: Sapphire Energy appointed Thomas ‘Tom’ Willardson as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this role, Willardson brings more ...

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