Nav: Home

Highly efficient photocatalyst capable of carbon dioxide recycling

December 01, 2017

A research team of Energy Science and Engineering at DGIST has succeeded in developing a titanium dioxide (TiO2)-based high efficiency photocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide to methane using a simple reduction method.

The photocatalysts developed by the research team can be used to convert carbon dioxide to fuels like methane. Therefore, it is expected to be applied to technologies for carbon dioxide abatement and resource reclamation.

As is now well known, anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, is a significant factor driving global climate change; sustainable, low carbon, readily portable fuels are one of the most pressing needs of modern society. To that end, there has been a worldwide effort underway to find ways to convert carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming, into a usable fuel, such as hydrogen, methane, ethanol, methanol, and butanol.

In order to utilize carbon dioxide as a resource, it is essential to increase the conversion efficiency and light absorption efficiency when converting carbon dioxide into fuel, and to make photocatalyst help to prevent secondary harmful substances.

High-efficiency photocatalyst development technology that synthesizes materials such as titanium dioxide, copper oxide, and reduced graphene oxide, or controls the structure and surface of photocatalyst material is regarded as the core of carbon dioxide recycling technology.

Surprisingly, DGIST's research team has discovered a synthesis method which rapidly reduces titanium dioxide (TiO2) at low temperatures using a strong reducing agent, sodium borohydride (NaBH4).

In the study, titanium dioxide-based photocatalysts using this synthesis method showed 12.49% conversion of methane to photochemical carbon dioxide on the gas phase, which represents the highest conversion rate among the introduced photocatalysts so far.

In addition, the photocatalyst developed by the research team has the controlled band gap through the conversion of the oxidation number from 4 to 3 by breaking the oxygen atoms on the surface of titanium dioxide. This change increases the amount of light absorption and efficiently separates the charge, resulting in higher carbon conversion of carbon dioxide. Moreover, the experiment has also proved that the efficiency of methane conversion of carbon dioxide can be increased up to 29 times using platinum nanoparticles.

Professor In stated, "The newly developed titanium dioxide photocatalyst is superior to the other photocatalysts reported so far as it has outstanding carbon dioxide conversion efficiency as well as excellent stability." He also mentioned, "We would like to contribute to the development of carbon dioxide reduction and recycling technology by conducting further researches to improve conversion efficiency to the extent that it can be commercialized."
-end-
This study was published in the online edition of Materials Today, the international journal of materials science, on November 20.

For more information, contact:

Associate Professor Su-Il In
Department of Energy Science and Engineering
Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST)
insuil@dgist.ac.kr

Associated Links

Research Paper on Journal of Scientific Reports https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mattod.2017.09.005

Laboratory of Energy Science and Engineering at DGIST http://insuil.dgist.ac.kr/

Journal Reference

Saurav Sorcar, Yunju Hwang, Craig A. Grimes, Su-Il In, "Highly enhanced and stable activity of defect-induced titania nanoparticles for solar light-driven CO2 reduction into CH4" Materials Today 2017 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369702117304315

DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)

Related Methane Articles:

Microbial fuel cell converts methane to electricity
Transporting methane from gas wellheads to market provides multiple opportunities for this greenhouse gas to leak into the atmosphere.
Methane seeps in the Canadian high Arctic
Cretaceous climate warming led to a significant methane release from the seafloor, indicating potential for similar destabilization of gas hydrates under modern global warming.
Methane emissions from trees
A new study from the University of Delaware is one of the first in the world to show that tree trunks in upland forests actually emit methane rather than store it, representing a new, previously unaccounted source of this powerful greenhouse gas.
Oil production releases more methane than previously thought
Emissions of methane and ethane from oil production have been substantially higher than previously estimated, particularly before 2005.
Bursts of methane may have warmed early Mars
The presence of water on ancient Mars is a paradox.
New method for quantifying methane emissions from manure management
The EU Commision requires Denmark to reduce drastically emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture.
New 3-D printed polymer can convert methane to methanol
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have combined biology and 3-D printing to create the first reactor that can continuously produce methanol from methane at room temperature and pressure.
Arctic Ocean methane does not reach the atmosphere
250 methane flares release the climate gas methane from the seabed and into the Arctic Ocean.
Long-sought methane production mechanism identified
Researchers have identified the mechanism by which bacteria create methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Retreat of the ice followed by millennia of methane release
Methane was seeping from the seafloor for thousands of years following the retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet, shows a groundbreaking new study in Nature Communications.

Related Methane Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...