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Report: Polish Power Plant and University to Cooperate on CO2 to Methanol Trial

7 July 2009

rp.pl Lublin-Wrotków power plant, the largest producer of carbon dioxide in the Lublin, Poland, and the University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska will sign a letter of intent on cooperation for the production of methanol from carbon dioxide using a technique developed by Prof. Dobieslaw Nazimek at the University.

Nazimek
Proposed photoreactor unit. Click to enlarge.

Nazimek says his “artificial photosynthesis” process is based on the photocatalytic conversion of water and carbon dioxide under deep ultraviolet light. Synthesis of 1 kmole (32 kg) of CH3OH from CO2 and H2O requires 586MJ of energy, according to Nazimek’s calculations. (Methanol has a HHV of 22.7 MJ/kg, or 726 MJ/kmole).

An experimental photoreactor unit (0.5m, Ø: 4 cm) supports a flow of CO2 of 370 dm3/h (13 cubic feet), and produces 544 g methanol per hour (15% of the product solution).

Prof. Nazmiek said that “In Poland it costs around zł0.4 to acquire a liter of methanol. Our method allows to get the same effect for zł0.09-0.11.

(A hat-tip to Henryk!)

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Comments

Interesting way to get rid of CO2 surplus and get useful energy carrier at the same time.

Wish it can be done on a large enough scale.

"...deep ultraviolet light..."

This is the first time I have seen UV used. The energy input output would have to be considered, but if this works and can be scaled up it would be an advancement.

This may be a very good way of making and storing energy in earth orbit. The process obviously also produces oxygen. The Pruteen organism can make food out of methanol and perhaps the Quorn organism can do it as well. Mushrooms might also use methanol for much of their growth. Much more ultraviolet light is available in space. Perhaps there is also a simple way to convert methanol to glycerol, a food. ..HG..

There may be a big problem here. Ultraviolet lamps are very inefficient. (UV LEDs approach 3% efficiency) so the 586/726 + 80.7% efficiency has to be multiplied by the lamp efficiency. Too bad our atmosphere filters out the sun's UV so well.

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