Navigation Links
RIT scientist shines laser light on methane in pursuit of clean fuel
Date:10/22/2009

An abundant greenhouse gas could someday help clean up the earth.

Converting methane to liquid methanol could produce clean, low-cost fuel and prevent the potent greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. Exploiting methane in this way could also produce a hydrogen source for fuel cells and yield other industrial applications. The key to taming methane, and synthesizing it in the laboratory, rests in identifying the starter link in methane's armor chain of hydrocarbons.

A National Science Foundation grant is supporting a novel approach using laser light to convert methane into methanol. Roger Dube, research professor at Rochester Institute of Technology's Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, won the $79,000 exploratory research award to apply optical catalytic conversion to the problem. Dube will use finely tuned laser light, not heat, to reduce the barrier to reaction in methane and to create longer chain molecules or fuels. The process works without the need for heat or a catalytic surface. This is important because heat consumes some of the fuel stock and decreases overall conversion efficient. Catalysts get dirty and have to be replaced or cleaned, both expensive and time-consuming propositions.

"Successful photo-catalysis of methane would theoretically produce clean fuels and remove methane gas that otherwise would simply be released into the atmosphere," Dube says. "If successful, the technology could have broad impact in other fields of chemistry."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, methanethe odorless component of natural gasremains in the atmosphere for approximately nine to 15 years. To make matters worse, methane beats carbon dioxide in efficiently trapping heat in the atmosphere. Sources of the gas range from the expectedsuch as cattle, coal mining and natural gas and petroleum productionto the somewhat unexpected practice of rice cultivation. Methane has ample natural and human-caused sources and is a byproduct of wetlands, wildfires, permafrost, landfills, agricultural applications, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment and certain industrial processes.

"Unfortunately, almost half of the proven reserve of methane is 'stranded,'" Dube says. "Access to the natural gas is effectively blocked by terrain and the economies of converting natural gas to liquid for efficient transport. A compact, high-gain process is needed that would convert methane gas to a room temperature liquid, such as diesel, and be sufficiently portable to enable access to stranded gas."


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Gawlowicz
smguns@rit.edu
585-475-5061
Rochester Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Boston University scientists first to see RNA network in live bacterial cells
2. Scientists create NICE solution to pneumonia vaccine testing problems
3. Scientists of the UGR obtain a bioinsecticide to control the Mediterranean fruit fly
4. Queens scientists on international team discover ecologically unique changes in Arctic lake
5. UF scientists discover new explanation for controversial old patient-care technique
6. UF receives $12.2 million to establish national network of scientists
7. Caltech scientists create robot surrogate for blind persons in testing visual prostheses
8. Time in a bottle: Scientists watch evolution unfold
9. Scientists demonstrate link between genetic defect and brain changes in schizophrenia
10. Scientists remove amyloid plaques from brains of live animals with Alzheimers disease
11. UNC scientists win $1.6 million stimulus award to accelerate decoding of human genome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No ... but researchers at the New York University Tandon ... of Engineering have found that partial similarities between ... systems used in mobile phones and other electronic ... The vulnerability lies in the fact ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the ... is the primary factor for the growth of the ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem ... technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market of ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market to ... AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein recognition, ... industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, health ... and by region ( North America , ... , and the Rest of the World) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 19, 2017 , ... ... Virtual Event, which makes educational webinars accessible to novices as well as ... of preanalytical variables of commonly performed coagulation screening tests. , Hemostasis testing ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... WESTMINSTER, Colo. , April 19, 2017 ... specialty finance firm that provides senior debt to ... the closing of a $20 million senior secured ... orthobiologics company engaged in the development and commercialization ... of orthopedic injuries. Cerapedics, lead product, ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Urdorf, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... April 18, 2017 ... ... a smartphone/tablet app that converts conductivity readings to concentration levels and vice-versa. , ... analytical chemistry is analyzing solution strength in concentration control or monitoring. The principle ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories ... East. MD&M East has helped take medical devices from concept to market ... foremost minds. , Whitehouse labs will showcase its diverse and comprehensive capabilities which ...
Breaking Biology Technology: