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Depleted uranium: could this reduce our dependency on crude oil? ^ | June 1, 2012 | Lindsay Brooke

Posted on 06/01/2012 7:03:38 AM PDT by Red Badger

A simple three-step chemical reaction which could herald the introduction of new sustainable feedstocks for the chemical industry has been developed by scientists at The University of Nottingham.

Scientists in the School of Chemistry have developed a recyclable system for converting carbon monoxide (CO) directly into more complicated organic molecules using depleted uranium.

The research, funded by the Royal Society and European Research Council, was led by Dr. Stephen Liddle, an expert in inorganic chemistry. Details of the new procedure — which can return the molecule that performs the transformation back to its start point — have been published in the prestigious academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Many of the products society has come to rely on are derived from petrochemicals and an array of feedstocks needed to satisfy the voracious appetite of the petrochemical industry are produced from the refining of crude oil.

The search for more sustainable sources of feedstocks for petrochemical production is gathering pace and CO is, in principle, one of the options. Industry generates CO in abundance but the problem facing chemists has been how to convert CO directly into useable molecular compounds.

Dr. Liddle said: “This is a significant step forward in the search for viable alternatives to crude oil — it means that a simple catalytic process for converting CO directly into more complex and value-added organic molecules may soon be in reach.”

The need for alternative sources of feedstocks

The continued growth and stability of the global economy requires the ready availability of petrochemical feedstocks. However, uncertainty in their cost and supply and events such as the energy crisis in the 1970s has driven demand for developing alternative sources to crude oil.

Derived from methane and coal stocks, CO is an important industrial gas widely used in many industrial operations — for example in the production of aldehydes, methanol and pure nickel. It is readily produced by steam reforming reactions and as a result is an abundant resource that could be used in crude oil-free bulk hydrocarbon feedstock production.

But developing processes to fix CO into molecules of use are energy intensive. Many attempts have been made to make molecular compounds derived purely from CO fixation but they aren’t recyclable.

What happens next?

Using depleted uranium, chemists at The University of Nottingham have developed a three stage synthetic cycle in which an electron is transferred to CO molecules making them more reactive, a new molecule is then assembled, and then, crucially, the CO-derived molecule is liberated and the metal complex that creates the chemical reaction is retrieved so it can be used again.

Dr. Liddle said: “Our work represents a step forward because we have closed a simple synthetic cycle for fixing carbon monoxide — the challenge now is to make this a catalytic cycle and to exploit the findings of this work with metals that industry could more easily use.”

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences search and more info website

Provided by University of Nottingham

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Technical; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: co2; energy; environment; pollution; sourcetitlenoturl

1 posted on 06/01/2012 7:03:51 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: sully777; vigl; Cagey; Abathar; A. Patriot; B Knotts; getsoutalive; muleskinner; sausageseller; ...


2 posted on 06/01/2012 7:04:42 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: ecomcon; doxteve; Frohickey; cpdiii; Ancesthntr; Little Bill; moonpie57; JAKraig; Chas00; ...


3 posted on 06/01/2012 7:05:40 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: thackney; wequalswinner; randog; Dan12180; PJammers; azhenfud; AFPhys; Army Air Corps; painter; ...


4 posted on 06/01/2012 7:07:01 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: Red Badger
Rotsa ruck, with this. The environmentalists will find a million imaginary things wrong with this kind of set up, unless it turns out to be impractical.
5 posted on 06/01/2012 7:16:33 AM PDT by oyez ( Affordable Health-care is neither affordable nor health-care.)
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To: Red Badger
Amen. I'm for anything that will bring gas here in the United States to at least $2 a gallon. Bring it on. The sooner the better.

Alas, I think that Obama will release his college transcripts before I see a gallon of gas go to $3 or lower, and we know that Obama is not going to release his Occidental and Columbia college transcripts any time soon.

Oh, well.

6 posted on 06/01/2012 7:19:11 AM PDT by john mirse
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To: Red Badger
Could depleted uranium reduce our dependence on imported crude?

Judiciously used, yes.

7 posted on 06/01/2012 7:28:49 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The Democratic Party strongly supports full civil rights for necro-Americans!)
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To: Red Badger

My choice would be the Traveling wave reactor.

8 posted on 06/01/2012 7:35:16 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

You nailed it, exactly. Your method would be HIGHLY effective in reducing dependence on imported crude, in the Middle East, and elsewhere.

9 posted on 06/01/2012 7:40:18 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets


10 posted on 06/01/2012 7:41:31 AM PDT by KC Burke (Plain Conservative opinions and common sense correction for thirteen years.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Ha! An A-10 blazing depleted uranium into Iranian scum! Great minds think alike!

11 posted on 06/01/2012 8:19:49 AM PDT by FastCoyote (I am intolerant of the intolerable.)
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To: FastCoyote

For Iran? DEPLETED uranium? Just why did we make the good stuff, if not for Iran?

i.e., the 90% U235 stuff.

12 posted on 06/01/2012 8:57:44 AM PDT by RossA
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To: oyez

Wow!!! I hope it is true. Of course the Enviro-WACKOS will say it is bad!!

13 posted on 06/01/2012 12:50:02 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12, don't blame 0 for tearing up the CONSTITUTION!!)
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