Recommended Posts

...A new electrocatalyst called a-CuTi@Cu converts carbon dioxide (CO2 ) into liquid fuels....

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934899

Announcements like this have appeared before. This variant doesn't use any expensive metals. The article doesn't discuss operating temperature or pressure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

...A new electrocatalyst called a-CuTi@Cu converts carbon dioxide (CO2 ) into liquid fuels....

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934899

Announcements like this have appeared before. This variant doesn't use any expensive metals. The article doesn't discuss operating temperature or pressure.

Butanol is a plug-in substitute for gasoline

http://butanol.com/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was able to link through to a 'supporting document'. The cell was operated at room temperature and at normal atmospheric pressure - basically on a lab bench. An anion exchange membrane separated the CuTi electrode from a platinum electrode. It isn't clear that it mattered whether platinum was necessary as the opposing electrode, it is simply what they used.

All of the products had =O or -OH radicals. The outputs were mixtures of 2, 3, and 4 carbon molecules (ethyl, propyl, and butyl isomers).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

18 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

...A new electrocatalyst called a-CuTi@Cu converts carbon dioxide (CO2 ) into liquid fuels....

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934899

Announcements like this have appeared before. This variant doesn't use any expensive metals. The article doesn't discuss operating temperature or pressure.

I wonder if they got more liquid fuels out than the energy required to prepare the catalysts.  This looks like an extremely expensive and energy intensive catalyst to set up.  The reason platinum catalysts are favored for these sorts of reactions is that while the metal is expensive, the prep and operation is relatively cheap. 

Edited by Eric Gagen
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Eric Gagen said:

I wonder if they got more liquid fuels out than the energy required to prepare the catalysts.  This looks like an extremely expensive and energy intensive catalyst to set up.  The reason platinum catalysts are favored for these sorts of reactions is that while the metal is expensive, the prep and operation is relatively cheap. 

I suspect the platinum electrode was used because they could be sure it wouldn't contaminate the results. In a production situation, the electrode would most likely be graphite.

Preparing the electrode certainly involved melting down some copper and titanium and then etching the alloy in HF acid. However, if it has an operational lifespan of 3 months and a Faradaic efficiency of 48%, it will produce way more product than it costs to make the electrode.

The things that make such processes 'expensive' are heat and pressure - see Haber Bosch for making ammonia, for example.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New technique improves conversion of carbon dioxide into liquid fuels

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/935048

"Chanyeon Kim, a postdoctoral researcher in Bell’s group and the lead author on the paper, proposed to coat the surface of the copper catalyst with two common ionomers, Nafion and Sustainion. Doing so, the team hypothesized, should modify the environment – including the pH and amounts of water and CO2 – in the catalyst’s immediate vicinity in a way that would steer the reaction to generate carbon-rich products that can be readily converted to useful chemicals and liquid fuels.

The researchers applied a thin layer of each ionomer, as well as a bilayer of both ionomers, to copper films supported by a polymer material, forming membranes that they could insert near one end of a hand-sized electrochemical cell. While feeding CO2 into the cell and applying a voltage, they measured the total current flowing through the cell. Then they measured the gases and liquids that collected in adjoining reservoirs during the reaction. For the two-layer case, they found that carbon-rich products accounted for 80% of the energy consumed by the reaction – up from 60% in the un-coated situation."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something one can actually buy:

Formic Acid Electrolyzers And Components For Sale

https://dioxidematerials.com/formic-acid-electrolyzers-and-components-for-sale/
 

Such as it is, this move the discussion from 'someday... ' to 'want to build one in the shed in your backyard?'.

I don't use the word garage since most garages these days are attached to their respective houses, and making up batches of formic acid is not something you want to be doing in your house, or any structure attached to your house.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/17/2021 at 9:30 AM, Meredith Poor said:

..A new electrocatalyst called a-CuTi@Cu converts carbon dioxide (CO2 ) into liquid fuels....

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934899

Announcements like this have appeared before. This variant doesn't use any expensive metals. The article doesn't discuss operating temperature or pressure.

Like all those breakthroughs it sounds interesting but I don't understand where the hydrogen required for methane and the like is supposed to come from.. more energy from renewables to produce green hydrogen? If so then its way more practical than the transportation of hydrogen .. The technology for methane is well established. But, anyway, we should await developments.. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/17/2021 at 5:20 PM, markslawson said:

Like all those breakthroughs it sounds interesting but I don't understand where the hydrogen required for methane and the like is supposed to come from.. more energy from renewables to produce green hydrogen? If so then its way more practical than the transportation of hydrogen .. The technology for methane is well established. But, anyway, we should await developments.. 

This would be like steam reformers for H2. Great while energy is cheap but the Thermodynamics are highly positive. That reflects NG price increases.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/17/2021 at 6:52 AM, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Butanol is a plug-in substitute for gasoline

http://butanol.com/

So is alcohol, natural gas, synthesis gas, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/18/2021 at 5:28 PM, nsdp said:

This would be like steam reformers for H2. Great while energy is cheap but the Thermodynamics are highly positive. That reflects NG price increases.

The natural gas prices are transitory. They are high in the winter when you rely on the Russians though. When you don't produce your own or discourage development of it. its pipelines, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

So is alcohol, natural gas, synthesis gas, etc. 

Not the same thing. Butanol works without any change to the gasoline engine. Same compression, same ignition timings. (It is technically also an alcohol. Everything that ends in -ol is)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does butanol have any of the objections that arise to pure alcohol? Does it often appear in oil to an excess of what is needed in propane etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

On 11/20/2021 at 1:15 AM, ronwagn said:

Does butanol have any of the objections that arise to pure alcohol? Does it often appear in oil to an excess of what is needed in propane etc?

You mean pure ethanol? 100% ethanol is not obtainable by distillation means and is extremely hygroscopic (to the point of being deadly to ingest) 96% is tops. Most other alcohols don't have this problem and are available in 100% grade (dry) Sorry, I did not understand what you asked about propane, come again?

The main problem of butanol is that the bug that normally makes it by fermentation, also makes a bunch of acetone and ethanol at the same time. This mixture is difficult to separate. The synthetic "fossil fuel" route usually starts with propylene. Also see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butanol_fuel

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You answered my question. Propane is apparently abundant enough to meet the need anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

You answered my question. Propane is apparently abundant enough to meet the need anyway.

Possibly, counting the LPG. It is, however, a gas at normal atmospheric pressure, which requires significantly more attention to sealing the fuel lines etc. This alone makes it not a plug-in replacement for anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Possibly, counting the LPG. It is, however, a gas at normal atmospheric pressure, which requires significantly more attention to sealing the fuel lines etc. This alone makes it not a plug-in replacement for anything.

I was not promoting it but it is commonly used as a fuel in ICE engines in Asia. For some in the USA also. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

I was not promoting it but it is commonly used as a fuel in ICE engines in Asia. For some in the USA also. 

Also in Europe (though compressed natural gas is even more common) Peoples who had their cars converted to gas are getting harassed though. For example, most public garages prohibit cars thus converted. Works best for municipal fleets, IMHO. Used to be fairly common in Russia, too, dunno about now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam Smith's Invisible hand will decide go where . None of us are  do more than guess.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

I went through the Arab oil Embargo and natural gas curtailment in Texas in the 75-83 time frame. Big  customers are price sensitive  in pricing. .It takes some time to plan and do but fuel markets are price senitive.  1985 oil hit $10.54/barrel and Natural gas in Texas went below $1/mmbtu due to fuel switching to #6 low sulfur  sludge at $6/barrel.   I don't think you know how fast markets  can switch if there is an imbalance.   You remind me of John Dingle and his beloved incremental pricing.   We are already seeing coal plants running in ERCOT as NG is $5/mmbtu.

Edited by nsdp
cut and paste went haywire
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, nsdp said:

I went through the Arab oil Embargo and natural gas curtailment in Texas in the 75-83 time frame. Big  customers are price sensitive  in pricing. .It takes some time to plan and do but fuel markets are price senitive.  1985 oil hit $10.54/barrel and Natural gas in Texas went below $1/mmbtu due to fuel switching to #6 low sulfur  sludge at $6/barrel.   I don't think you know how fast markets  can switch if there is an imbalance.   You remind me of John Dingle and his beloved incremental pricing.   We are already seeing coal plants running in ERCOT as NG is $5/mmbtu.

Perhaps "someone" should curtail selected LNG exports from the USA?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, nsdp said:

Sad comment on the quality  of your education in economics.

Never claimed to be educated in that crap, especially the naive "free market" variety. Oil and gas are governed by a small cartel, with much national government participation. No "invisible hand" there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/21/2021 at 1:54 AM, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Never claimed to be educated in that crap, especially the naive "free market" variety. Oil and gas are governed by a small cartel, with much national government participation. No "invisible hand" there.

No but consumers do have a vote. Look at the industrial shift to self generation in the late 1970's and early 1980's when electric prices rose because of fuel costs.  It took natural gas 50 years too recover market share from 1970.  there is this thing some times called the utility death spiral which is what natural gas experienced.   It is often called demand destruction. You would do well to read this:https://alcse.org/utility-death-spiral/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.