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Home » Atmosphere, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Feedstocks, Process, R & D Focus, Texas, University/College Programs

New University of Texas Arlington Technology Removes CO2 from Atmosphere to Make Fuel

Submitted by on March 2, 2016 – 5:34 pmNo Comment

by Vittorio Hernandez  (International Business Times) A one-step conversion process that turns carbon dioxide and water into useable liquid hydrocarbon fuels makes change of current fuel distribution system in vehicles unnecessary. The inexpensive and simple new sustainable fuels technology has the potential to limit global warming.

The process, developed by researchers at the University of Texas Arlington (UTA), removes carbon dioxide from the air to make fuel. It likewise returns oxygen back into the atmosphere as byproduct of the reaction.

That gives the process an advantage over battery- or gaseous hydrogen-powered vehicle technologies because most of the hydrocarbon products from the reaction are what is used in jets, vehicles and trucks, says Frederick MacDonnell, interim chair of UTA’s chemistry and biochemistry department and co-principal investigator of the project.

The team of UTA engineers and chemists are the first to use high pressures, heat and concentrated light to synthesise liquid hydrocarbons in a single-stage reactor from water and carbon dioxide. The photothermochemical flow reactor they used operated at 180 to 200 C and pressure was up to 6 atmospheres. The concentrated light drove the photochemical reaction that generated high-energy intermediates and heat and drove the thermochemical carbon-chain-forming reactions, explains Brian Dennis, co-principal investigator of the project and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UTA.

They used as hybrid photochemical and thermochemical catalyst titanium dioxide, a white powder which cannot absorb the whole visible light spectrum.  READ MORE   Abstract (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

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