Prof. Su-Il In
Scientists develop a stable and inexpensive photocatalyst using earth-abundant materials for the eco-friendly production of methane from CO2
Scientists at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, develop a novel “heterostructured” photocatalyst using titanium and copper, two abundant and relatively inexpensive metals. Their cost-effective synthesis procedure, coupled with the high stability of the photocatalyst, provides an economically feasible way to convert waste carbon dioxide and water into useful hydrocarbon fuels using endless sunlight.
The escalating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the consequent acceleration of climate change are alarming, and it has proven challenging to find feasible ways to actively reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. What if we drew inspiration from photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to convert CO2 and water into useful chemicals?
In a recent study published in Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Prof. Su-Il In and researchers from Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) in Korea developed a novel photocatalyst for converting CO2 into hydrocarbon fuels. Their approach is based around the concept of “Z-scheme” charge transfer mechanism in heterostructured photocatalysts, where the interfaces between two different materials play a central role in chemical processes that resemble the electron transfers in natural photosynthesis.
They reinforced reduced titanium nanoparticles edges with dicopper oxide (Cu2O) nanoparticles through photo-deposition, a unique yet relatively simple and inexpensive procedure. The rich electron density of reduced titania at the interface helps neutralize positive charges, called “electron holes,” in Cu2O, which otherwise accumulate excessively and lead to photocorrosion. Moreover, the geometric configuration of the resulting interfaces allows both materials to be exposed to the reactive medium and jointly enhance photocatalytic performance, in contrast to core–shell structures previously developed to avoid photocorrosion. Apart from its remarkable CO2 conversion capabilities, the proposed photocatalyst has other benefits, as Prof In explains: “Aside from showing stable performance for 42 hours under continuous operation, the proposed photocatalyst is composed of earth-abundant materials, which greatly adds to its economic viability.”
The development and adoption of viable methods to convert CO2 into fuel would have both environmental and economic benefits. In this regard, Prof In remarks: “Photocatalytic CO2 reduction is applicable in processes that produce huge volumes of CO2, like thermal power stations and industrial fermentation facilities (distilleries). Integrating this technology in such facilities will give them access to inexpensive and abundant fuel and cuts in carbon emission taxes.” Needless to say, cheaper energy would have positive ripple effects in all the economy, and this study shows a promising way to get there while going green at the same time.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Methane from CO2
- Despite Pandemic Shutdowns, Carbon Dioxide and Methane Surged in 2020on April 13, 2021 at 6:35 am
Levels of the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, continued their unrelenting rise in 2020 despite the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic ...
- Democrats seek to undo Trump regulations on methane, healthcareon April 13, 2021 at 2:00 am
Methane receives less attention than carbon dioxide, which makes up most of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, but it's a serious threat. Methane absorbs far more heat than carbon dioxide, and its ...
- Could tiny sensors keep methane out of our atmosphere—and homes?on April 12, 2021 at 9:49 am
Methane is a greenhouse gas 86 times as potent as carbon dioxide. What if we could see methane emissions in real time?
- Canada says government fund helping to cut methane emissionson April 9, 2021 at 1:47 pm
A Canadian government fund established to help the energy sector reduce methane emissions will cut the country's overall carbon dioxide emissions by about half a percentage point in its first year, ...
- Heat-Trapping Methane Surged in 2020on April 9, 2021 at 11:18 am
It’s worrying news for the climate. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, especially in the short term. Over a 20-year period, its climate-warming potential is more than 80 ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Methane from CO2
Go deeper with Bing News on:
CO2 to fuel
- Solar Panels on Tanks? NATO Wants To Go Greenon April 13, 2021 at 10:40 pm
“We know that heavy battle tanks or fighter jets and naval ships, they consume a lot of fossil fuel and emit greenhouse or co2, greenhouse gases, co2, and therefore we do have to look into how ...
- What 'energy transition'? Global fossil fuel use is accelerating and set to get even worseon April 13, 2021 at 9:53 pm
Policymakers are under intensifying pressure to deliver on promises made as part of the Paris Agreement ahead of this year's COP26.
- North Wales becomes Airbus’ latest site to power jets with SAFon April 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Sustainable aviation fuels are currently certified by regulators for up to 50 percent use in commercial flights; the Beluga fleet operating from Broughton will initially be loaded with a 35% blend of ...
- Companies are promising to remove carbon — what about frontline communities?on April 13, 2021 at 3:00 pm
If fossil fuel companies, like Shell, invest in carbon removal technologies to offset their carbon dioxide emissions, it will not offset the higher rates of asthma experienced by communities living ...
- Neste and Finnair present Sustainable Aviation Fuel based solution to reduce business travel emissionson April 13, 2021 at 7:05 am
Neste and Finnair are joining forces to reduce carbon emissions related to Neste employees’ business travel by using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).