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Solar Conversion of Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor to Methane and Other Hydrocarbons
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"If you tried to build a commercial system using what we have accomplished to date, you'd go broke," admits Grimes. But he is confident that commercially viable results are possible."


"Efficient solar conversion of carbon dioxide and water vapor to methane and other hydrocarbons is achieved using nitrogen-doped titania nanotube arrays, with a wall thickness low enough to facilitate effective carrier transfer to the adsorbing species, surface-loaded with nanodimensional islands of cocatalysts platinum and/or copper. All experiments are conducted in outdoor sunlight at University Park, PA. Intermediate reaction products, hydrogen and carbon monoxide, are also detected with their relative concentrations underlying hydrocarbon production rates and dependent upon the nature of the cocatalysts on the nanotube array surface. Using outdoor global AM 1.5 sunlight, 100 mW/cm2, a hydrocarbon production rate of 111 ppm cm−2 h−1, or ≈160 μL/(g h), is obtained when the nanotube array samples are loaded with both Cu and Pt nanoparticles. This rate of CO2 to hydrocarbon production obtained under outdoor sunlight is at least 20 times higher than previous published reports, which were conducted under laboratory conditions using UV illumination."

Posted on: Feb. 21, 2009 1:30pm,UTC
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