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Fuel from CO2


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#1    Render

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:59 AM

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(Phys.org) —Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves a smaller carbon footprint. Now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. Their discovery may soon lead to the creation of biofuels made directly from the carbon dioxide in the air that is responsible for trapping the sun's rays and raising global temperatures.


"What this discovery means is that we can remove plants as the middleman," said Adams, who is co-author of the study detailing their results published March 25 in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. "We can take carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into useful products like fuels and chemicals without having to go through the inefficient process of growing plants and extracting sugars from biomass."



http://phys.org/news...atmosphere.html


#2    questionmark

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:22 PM

Well, I am surprised that they "discovered it", in fact it has been known for a long time that carbon dioxide could be engineered into other carbon products.  The only question remaining is: Where do they expect the fantastillion megawatts to do it with from.

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#3    Render

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:55 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 27 March 2013 - 02:22 PM, said:

Well, I am surprised that they "discovered it", in fact it has been known for a long time that carbon dioxide could be engineered into other carbon products.  The only question remaining is: Where do they expect the fantastillion megawatts to do it with from.

it's all in the article yanno

Quote

The process is made possible by a unique microorganism called Pyrococcus furiosus, or "rushing fireball," which thrives by feeding on carbohydrates in the super-heated ocean waters near geothermal vents. By manipulating the organism's genetic material, Adams and his colleagues created a kind of P. furiosus that is capable of feeding at much lower temperatures on carbon dioxide. The research team then used hydrogen gas to create a chemical reaction in the microorganism that incorporates carbon dioxide into 3-hydroxypropionic acid, a common industrial chemical used to make acrylics and many other products. With other genetic manipulations of this new strain of P. furiosus, Adams and his colleagues could create a version that generates a host of other useful industrial products, including fuel, from carbon dioxide. When the fuel created through the P. furiosus process is burned, it releases the same amount of carbon dioxide used to create it, effectively making it carbon neutral, and a much cleaner alternative to gasoline, coal and oil. "This is an important first step that has great promise as an efficient and cost-effective method of producing fuels," Adams said. "In the future we will refine the process and begin testing it on larger scales."



#4    Br Cornelius

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:14 PM

Normal organisms use the sun or chemicals to provide the energy for their chemical processes. This organism substitutes high temperature water to get its necessary energy to perform the chemical processes. The question is, is there a net gain in terms of energy required to heat the water to fuel the process compared to the energy derived from the products produced. If the heat energy can be accessed from a readily available source of waste heat then there is a possibility that the process can be energy positive. Otherwise it is likely that you could use more energy fueling the process than you get out.

Of course the article mentions the need for hydrogen to produce the end product which has to be produced using an energy source which further degrades the thermodynamics of the process.

Its like alga for fuel which has not yet managed to become thermodynamically positive despite all the initial promise for the process.

One to watch, but I won't be holding my breath to be using the products of this process any time soon.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 27 March 2013 - 03:17 PM.

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    Cinicus Magnus

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:35 PM

View PostRender, on 27 March 2013 - 02:55 PM, said:

it's all in the article yanno

Αs BC said above, it was not unknown, the process works in nature but in nature the sun bangs down about 5 KW of energy per square meter in the moderate regions, double that in the tropic regions and slightly more in arid desert regions. So far we have not been capable of replicating that kind of energy, and even with it it only works in a small scale. We could try to use all areas irradiated by the sun to get somewhere.... but then, sadly, sadly, we would have to cease to eat.

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