A Method to Convert Carbon Dioxide Emissions into Fuel

The method converts carbon dioxide into useful compounds.


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MIT scientists have recently developed a novel method that could potentially convert carbon dioxide emissions into useful fuels for vehicles.

They have developed a new membrane-based system from a compound of lanthanum, calcium, and iron oxide. It allows oxygen from a stream of carbon dioxide to migrate through to the other side, leaving carbon monoxide behind.

The fuel or combined with hydrogen and/or water to make many other liquid hydrocarbon fuels as well as chemicals including methanol, syngas etc.

The membrane, with a structure known as perovskite, is 100 percent particular for oxygen, permitting just those particles to pass. The partition is driven by temperatures of up to 990 degrees Celsius, and the way to influencing the procedure to work is to keep the oxygen that isolates from carbon dioxide moving through the film until the point when it achieves the opposite side.

This should be possible by making a vacuum on side of the layer inverse the carbon dioxide stream, yet that would require a considerable measure of vitality to keep up.

Instead of vacuum, scientists utilize a flood of fuel, hydrogen or methane. These materials are so promptly oxidized that they will really draw the oxygen particles through the film without requiring a weight contrast. The layer likewise keeps the oxygen from relocating back and recombining with the carbon monoxide, to frame carbon dioxide once more. At last, and relying on the application, a mix of some vacuum and some fuel can be utilized to decrease the vitality required to drive the procedure and create a valuable item.

MIT postdoc Xiao-Yu Wu said, “The energy input needed to keep the process going. Basically, the procedure makes it conceivable to store that warmth in synthetic shape, for utilizing at whatever point it’s required. Concoction vitality stockpiling has high vitality thickness — the measure of vitality put away for a given weight of material — when contrasted with numerous other stockpiling frames.”

“The incoming natural gas could be split into two streams, one that would be burned to generate electricity while producing a pure stream of carbon dioxide, while the other stream would go to the fuel side of the new membrane system. It could provide the oxygen-reacting fuel source.”

“Such stream could produce a second output from the plant, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide known as syngas, which is a widely used industrial fuel and feedstock. The syngas can also be added to the existing natural gas distribution network.”

Means, the method does not only reduce emissions but also generates another potential revenue stream to help defray its costs.

The procedure can work with any level of carbon dioxide concentration. In fact, the higher the concentration, the more efficient the process is.

Xuefeng Zhu, a professor of chemical physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Dalian, China said, “It is important to use carbon dioxide to produce carbon monoxide for the conversion of sustainable thermal energies to chemical energy.”

“Using an oxygen-permeable membrane can significantly reduce the reaction temperature, from 1,500 C to less than 1,000 C, indicating a great energy saving compared to the traditional carbon dioxide decomposition process. I think their work is important to the field of sustainable energy and membrane processes.”