Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC)
[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
UGA/NCSU team engineers hyperthermophilic bacterium to produce industrial chemical building blocks from CO2 and H2; ARPA-E project
March 26, 2013
Researchers at the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University have used a unique temperature-dependent approach in engineering a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus to be able to use CO2 and hydrogen to produce 3-hydroxypropionic acid, one of the top 12 industrial chemical building blocks.
The research, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS), was supported by the Department of Energy as part of the Electrofuels Program of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under Grant DE-AR0000081. (Earlier post.)
DOE launches Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative; awards $23.5M to 5 more manufacturing R&D projects
The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI), which will focus on growing US manufacturing of clean energy products and boosting US competitiveness through major improvements in manufacturing energy productivity. The initiative includes private sector partnerships, new funding from the Department, and enhanced analysis of the clean energy manufacturing supply chain that will guide DOE’s future funding decisions.
As a part of its increased focus on manufacturing research and development, DOE also awarded $23.5 million to 5 innovative manufacturing research and development projects. This new funding for advanced manufacturing—as well as the $54 million invested in 13 projects during the first round of selections in June of 2012 (earlier post)—is to serve as a ground floor investment in CEMI.
UNSW team develops bio-inspired catalytic approach to chemical reduction for production of fuels and chemicals
March 25, 2013
Scientists at the University of New South Wales (Australia) have developed a new bio-inspired method for carrying out chemical reduction—an industrial process used to produce fuels and chemicals. A report on their work is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
Chemical reduction involves the addition of electrons to a substance, and is the basis of making many fuels, including the sugars that plants produce during photosynthesis. The catalyst designed by the team led by Associate Professor Stephen Colbran of the UNSW School of Chemistry mimics the activity of naturally occurring metallo-(de)hydrogenase enzymes that catalyse reduction, such as alcohol dehydrogenase in yeast, that helps produce alcohol from sugar.
Stanford GCEP awards $6.6M to 7 projects; focus on combining energy conversion with carbon-neutral fuel production
March 13, 2013
Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) is awarding $6.6 million to seven research teams—six from Stanford and one from Carnegie Mellon University—to advance research on technologies for renewable energy conversion to electricity or fuels and for capturing CO2 emissions and converting CO2 to fuels.
The 7 awards bring the total number of GCEP-supported research programs to 104, with total funding of approximately $125 million since the project’s launch in 2002.
ARPA-E awards $130M to 66 “OPEN 2012” transformational energy technology projects
November 28, 2012
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) has selected 66 research projects to receive a total of $130 million in funding through its “OPEN 2012” program. (Earlier post.)
The OPEN 2012 projects will focus on a wide array of technologies, including advanced fuels (13 projects); advanced vehicle design and materials (2 projects); building efficiency (3 projects); carbon capture (4 projects, two of which entail the conversion of CO2 to transportation fuel and chemicals); grid modernization (9 projects); renewable power (10 projects); stationary energy storage (8 projects); stationary generation (3 projects); thermal energy storage (5 projects); transportation energy storage (7 projects); and “other” (2 projects).
LanzaTech exploring lipids production as part of its CO2 to acetic acid plans; pathways to renewable fuels
October 17, 2012
Earlier this week, LanzaTech announced a partnership with Malaysia’s Petronas to extend the core LanzaTech proprietary CO gas fermentation process to include CO2-containing gases from a variety of sources—including refinery off-gases and natural gas wells—to produce acetic acid, a high-value chemical with applications in the polymers and plastics markets— as well as a possible intermediate for the formation of lipids. (Earlier post.)
In a presentation at the 1st Conference on CO2 as Feedstock, held last week in Essen, Germany, LanzaTech CSO Dr. Sean Simpson described the company’s progress on developing a CO2 pathway. In 2011, LanzaTech announced that it had demonstrated the continuous fermentation of CO2 in the presence of hydrogen to acetic acid, using their modified microorganisms.
Petronas and LanzaTech partner on CO2 to chemicals technology
October 15, 2012
|Petronas and Lanzatech are partnering to extend LanzaTech’s CO fermentation technology to consume CO2 for the production of acetic acid. Source: LanzaTech. Click to enlarge.|
LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, and Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia, will work together to accelerate the development and commercialization of technologies to produce sustainable fuels and chemicals using CO2 as the carbon source.
LanzaTech’s proprietary fermentation process converts carbon monoxide in industrial waste gases, reformed natural gas and gas derived from any biomass source into low-carbon fuels and chemicals. LanzaTech and Petronas will work together to extend this technology to include CO2-containing gases from a variety of sources—including refinery off-gases and natural gas wells—to produce acetic acid, a high-value chemical with applications in the polymers and plastics markets.
RWTH Aachen researchers report on two methods to convert CO2 to chemicals and fuels
August 07, 2012
|Pure formic acid can be obtained continuously by hydrogenation of CO2 in a single processing unit. An immobilized ruthenium organometallic catalyst and a nonvolatile base in an ionic liquid (IL) are combined with scCO2 as both reactant and extractive phase. Wesselbaum et al. Click to enlarge.|
A team led by Prof. Walter Leitner at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, has developed a new concept that can be used to produce pure formic acid from CO2 in a continuous process using catalytic hydrogenation. The reaction and separation steps are integrated in a single processing unit. Earlier this year, an RWTH Aachen team lead by Prof. Jürgen Klankermayer and Leitner reported the development of a tailored ruthenium phosphine complex catalyst to obtain methanol via the hydrogenation of CO2 with elemental hydrogen.
The two studies were published in separate issues of the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
Winners of 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge
June 18, 2012
American Chemical Society (ACS) President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Ph.D., and Jim Jones, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced the winners of the 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge was established to recognize and promote innovative chemical technologies that prevent pollution and have broad applicability in industry. The Challenge is sponsored by the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in partnership with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and other members of the chemical community. The awardees for 2012 are:
MIT researchers engineer stable copper-gold nanoparticle catalysts for lower energy consumption CO2 reduction
April 13, 2012
Copper nanoparticles (NPs) are attractive catalysts for chemical reactions including the reduction of CO2 to methane or methanol. However, copper is easily oxidized; as a result, the metal is unstable, which can significantly slow its reaction with carbon dioxide and produce unwanted byproducts such as carbon monoxide and formic acid. For NPs, this can be greatly accelerated because of the high surface-to-volume ratios, and thus can deteriorate catalyst lifetime.
Researchers at MIT engineered nanoparticles of copper (Cu) mixed with gold (Au), which is resistant to corrosion and oxidation, and measured the oxidation rate of the AuCu NPs as a function of composition. They found that increasing the percentage of gold improves the catalyst’s stability, and also found that the overpotential of AuCU NPs for reduction in the presence of CO2 is lower than that for Au or Cu NPs alone. As a result of the findings, the researchers suggest that AuCu NPs could be a promising catalyst to lower the energy consumption of CO2 reduction.
UCLA team uses engineered microbe and electricity to convert CO2 to higher alcohols
April 02, 2012
Researchers at UCLA have demonstrated a method for converting carbon dioxide into higher alcohols using electricity. In a study published in the journal Science, James Liao, UCLA’s Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering, and his team report a method for storing electrical energy as chemical energy in higher alcohols, which can be used as liquid transportation fuels.
Liao and his team genetically engineered a lithoautotrophic microorganism, Ralstonia eutropha H16, to produce isobutanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol (3MB) in an electro-bioreactor using CO2 as the sole carbon source and electricity as the sole energy input.