Every year, humans advance climate change and global warming – and quite likely our own eventual extinction – by injecting about 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO?) into the atmosphere.
A team of U of T scientists believes they’ve found a way to convert all these emissions into energy-rich fuel in a carbon-neutral cycle that uses a very abundant natural resource: silicon. Silicon, readily available in sand, is the seventh most-abundant element in the universe and the second most-abundant element in the earth’s crust.
The idea of converting CO? emissions to energy isn’t new: there’s been a global race to discover a material that can efficiently convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water or hydrogen to fuel for decades. However, the chemical stability of CO? has made it difficult to find a practical solution.
“A chemistry solution to climate change requires a material that is a highly active and selective catalyst to enable the conversion of CO? to fuel. It also needs to be made of elements that are low cost, non-toxic and readily available,” said Faculty of Arts & Science chemistry professor Geoffrey Ozin, the Canada Research Chair in Materials Chemistry and lead of U of T’s Solar Fuels Research Cluster.
In an article in Nature Communications published August 23, Ozin and colleagues report silicon nanocrystals that meet all the criteria. The hydride-terminated silicon nanocrystals – nanostructured hydrides for short – have an average diameter of 3.5 nanometres and feature a surface area and optical absorption strength sufficient to efficiently harvest the near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths of light from the sun together with a powerful chemical-reducing agent on the surface that efficiently and selectively converts gaseous carbon dioxide to gaseous carbon monoxide.
The potential result: energy without harmful emissions.
“Making use of the reducing power of nanostructured hydrides is a conceptually distinct and commercially interesting strategy for making fuels directly from sunlight,” said Ozin.
The U of T Solar Fuels Research Cluster is working to find ways and means to increase the activity, enhance the scale, and boost the rate of production. Their goal is a laboratory demonstration unit and, if successful, a pilot solar refinery.
The Latest on: Converting CO2 emissions to fuel
via Google News
The Latest on: Converting CO2 emissions to fuel
- Ammonia for fuel cellson August 15, 2019 at 7:35 am
Fuel cells are pollution-free power sources that convert chemical energy to ... and distribute than hydrogen and avoids the carbon dioxide emissions of other liquid fuels, which are expensive ...
- Use of heavy fuel oil with scrubbers will have positive effect on global CO2 emissionson August 13, 2019 at 7:32 am
“With new modern refineries set up to convert crude into higher priced ...
- Use of heavy fuel oil with scrubbers will have a positive effect on global CO2 emissionson August 12, 2019 at 3:49 pm
the continued use of residual fuel will have a positive impact on global GHG emissions, given the energy required to produce distillates would result in higher levels of CO2 being released into the ...
- Construction continues on Longmont project to convert sewage treatment gas byproduct to trash truck fuelon August 7, 2019 at 6:52 pm
The project will convert ... fuel,” Gage said. City officials said Longmont will be offsetting nearly 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel now consumed by waste service trucks, reducing greenhouse gases by ...
- Floating Islands That Convert Carbon Dioxide to Alternative Fuels Could Be Answer to Global Warming, Study Sayson June 18, 2019 at 11:45 am
The system faces many challenges. Could giant floating islands that use solar power to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide to engine fuel be the planet's answer to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions?
- Canadian company to build plant that will remove CO2 from atmosphere — convert it to fuelon March 21, 2019 at 5:00 pm
The Bill Gates-backed venture promises to remove CO2 from the atmosphere at a rate of under $100 per tonne.
- Bacteria engineered to convert greenhouse gas into liquid fuelon December 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm
The method boasts dual benefits. Firstly it reduces greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels by recycling CO2. And secondly it uses solar energy to convert the CO2 into a ...
- MIT membrane produces fuel from CO2 emissionson November 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm
A membrane ... system that can convert carbon dioxide emissions into useful alternate fuels. The process has been effectively demonstrated on a small-scale and the researchers hope to ultimately adapt ...
- Turning Emissions Into Fuelon November 28, 2017 at 6:37 am
Carbon monoxide produced during this process can be used as a fuel by itself or combined with hydrogen ... and how it compares to other approaches to capturing and converting carbon dioxide emissions, ...
- Converting natural gas to hydrogen without any carbon emissionson November 17, 2017 at 6:28 am
The boom in natural gas production has been essential to the drop in carbon emissions in the US ... That's ready to burn or send to a fuel cell. Inside, you end up with concentrated carbon dioxide ...
via Bing News