Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nanotube technology transforms CO2 into fuel

Nanotube Technology Presence of surplus carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has taken center stage in the environmental science. All over the world people are worried about the excess amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because it’s causing undesirable changes in the surroundings such as green house effect, global warming, melting of ice caps on the glaciers etc. So most of the environmental scientists are trying to minimize the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University are working towards the same goal with the help of sunlight and titanium oxide nanotubes. These two elements, sunlight and titanium oxide nanotubes can transform carbon dioxide into methane. Methane can be utilized as energy source. It seems like double benefit. At one hand, we are reducing the quantity of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and we would be less dependent on fossil fuels.

Craig Grimes of Pennsylvania State University is working on this project with Oomman Varghese, Maggie Paulose and Thomas LaTempa. Craig Grimes shares his views, “Right now there is lots of talk about burying carbon dioxide, which is ridiculous. Instead we can collect the waste out of the smoke stack, put it though a converter, and presto, use sunlight to change [CO2] back into fuel.”

The team of researchers arranged the nanotubes vertically somewhat on the lines of empty honeycomb. The top of the nanotubes is covered with a thin, reddish-brown layer of copper oxide. Here the copper and titanium oxide operate as catalysts. They increase the pace of chemical reactions that happen naturally. …

Nanotube Technology Transforms CO2 Into Fuel

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