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Cheaper and Cleaner Catalyst for Burning Methane
ScienceDaily ^ | Aug. 9, 2012 | NA

Posted on 08/09/2012 11:35:59 PM PDT by neverdem

As the world's accessible oil reserves dwindle, natural gas has become an increasing important energy source. The primary component of natural gas is methane, which has the advantage of releasing less carbon dioxide when it's burned than do many other hydrocarbon fuels. But because of the very stable structure of the methane molecule, it can be difficult to access the energy stored within. When unburned methane escapes into the atmosphere, it's a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, along with collaborators from Italy and Spain, have created a material that catalyzes the burning of methane 30 times better than do currently available catalysts.

The discovery offers a way to more completely exploit energy from methane, potentially reducing emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas from vehicles that run on natural gas. The catalyst may also offer a cleaner and cheaper way of generating energy from catalytic combustion in gas turbines.

"It's hard to come up with materials that are active enough and stable enough to withstand the harsh conditions of methane combustion," said Raymond J. Gorte, the Russell Pearce and Elizabeth Crimian Heuer Professor in Penn's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "Our materials look promising for some important applications."

Matteo Cargnello, now a postdoctoral fellow in Penn's Department of Chemistry, joined Gorte and Kevin Bakhmutsky, a former Ph.D. student in Gorte's lab, in the study. Their collaborators included Paolo Fornasiero and Tiziano Montini of Italy's University of Trieste and National Research Council and José J. Calvino, Juan José Delgado and Juan Carlos Hernández Garrido of the Universidad de Cádiz in Spain. The study is published in the journal Science.

Cargnello began work on this project while still an undergraduate at the University of Trieste, during a visit to Gorte's laboratory...

(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com­ ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: catalysis; energy; methane

1 posted on 08/09/2012 11:36:09 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
When the article starts As the world's accessible oil reserves dwindle, I know I'm reading a crock.
2 posted on 08/10/2012 12:03:04 AM PDT by Wingy (Don't blame me. I voted for the chick. I hope to do so again.)
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To: neverdem
Eh, how hard can it be to use methane? These folks seem to have made it work just fine ;)


3 posted on 08/10/2012 12:13:48 AM PDT by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Stem-cell pioneer banks on future therapies - Japanese researcher plans cache of induced stem cells to supply clinical trials.

The Roots of Jewishness

Pfizer and J&J end testing of intravenous bapineuzumab Alzheimer’s treatment That mab suffix means monoclonal antibody, IIRC.

NEW SMART DRUG TO BEAT CRIPPLING PAIN OF ARTHRITIS

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

4 posted on 08/10/2012 1:23:46 AM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Wingy
"When the article starts As the world's accessible oil reserves dwindle, I know I'm reading a crock."

As the world's accessible oil reserves become physically or politically inaccessible, you better have a viable plan B. Thorium reactors went nowhere beyond a pilot project, IIRC. We got more natural gas than we know what to do with from fracking.

5 posted on 08/10/2012 1:57:25 AM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Wingy
As the world's accessible oil reserves dwindle.....noticed the same thing. Everyone always finds their own agenda... heck some day we'll see speculative ventures of the likes O/G when compared to pr oven commodities like wind and solar../s
6 posted on 08/10/2012 2:32:19 AM PDT by Recon Dad (Gas & Petroleum Junkie)
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To: Wingy

Ya saved me from cutting and pasting. Agree 100%.


7 posted on 08/10/2012 2:52:25 AM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: neverdem

That’s where I stopped reading.


8 posted on 08/10/2012 2:53:41 AM PDT by Peter W. Kessler (Dirt is for racing... asphalt is for getting there.)
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To: neverdem
"As the world's accessible oil reserves dwindle,..."

Thats pretty much shoots any credibility for this piece.

Its good when they do this early...saves my time.

9 posted on 08/10/2012 3:30:59 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Rurudyne; steelyourfaith; Tolerance Sucks Rocks; xcamel; AdmSmith; ...

Hey, it’s Raymond J. Gorte!

Thanks neverdem.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ray+gorte+site:freerepublic.com


10 posted on 08/10/2012 4:06:44 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Tainan
Its good when they do this early...saves my time.

Same here. I just stopped with the article, cut straight to the comments, and whaddaya know? Everybody else noticed the same thing.

Now, the question is, who else notices it? When do we get a critical mass so that people will think twice before publishing such junk?

11 posted on 08/10/2012 4:09:19 AM PDT by thulldud (Is it "alter or abolish" time yet?)
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To: thulldud
Seriously!

You all just stopped reading at “the world's accessible oil reserves dwindle”. LOL

I can see why this knee jerk reaction occurred, but think about it. The accessible oil fields are dwindling. That’s what happens when you use them. Sure, it’s somewhat artificial since governments around the world are standing in the way of exploiting new fields.

But, consider this…

They claim that conventional catalysts operate at 600-700 deg C where this new one “completely burned methane at 400 degrees C” and “maybe even [improve] the efficiency of gas turbines" This is where I call foul!

They have to say maybe because they are full of beans!

Gas turbines, as the article mentions, run in excess of 800C and for a good reason. The higher the combustion temperature the more efficient the thermal process is. Yes, there is a trade of with NOx and other byproducts of high temperature combustion. Typically the operating temperature is controlled as a compromise between efficiency and pollution.

So, why exactly would we want to run the combustion process at such a low temperature? It’s not to squeeze one more drop of efficiency out of the thermal system!

Well, at least they may have found a new and improved catalyst. Nano materials are our futures, so it’s not all bad. :o)
12 posted on 08/10/2012 6:20:24 AM PDT by chaos_5
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To: Wingy
Your #2: my thoughts exactly. Why bother reading more when they open with a lie?

Two words: Baaken. Eagle Ford. Okay, that's three.

13 posted on 08/10/2012 7:08:23 AM PDT by backwoods-engineer (I will vote against ANY presidential candidate who had non-citizen parents.)
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To: chaos_5
The accessible oil fields are dwindling. That’s what happens when you use them. Sure, it’s somewhat artificial since governments around the world are standing in the way of exploiting new fields.

It's totally artificial. And, as with any resource, first you get the low-hanging fruit. It is not remotely possible to do otherwise. But, as the easy pickings inevitably dwindle, the processes of production and extraction move to the next stage, and, what do you know, the cycle starts over again at the next level.

Free enterprise undertaken by free people will always find a way, something that cowering statists will never understand as long as they hide in their collective coccoons.

14 posted on 08/10/2012 8:57:24 PM PDT by thulldud (Is it "alter or abolish" time yet?)
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