Skip to comments.Cheaper and Cleaner Catalyst for Burning Methane
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 ...
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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.
Ya saved me from cutting and pasting. Agree 100%.
That’s where I stopped reading.
Thats pretty much shoots any credibility for this piece.
Its good when they do this early...saves my time.
Hey, it’s Raymond J. Gorte!
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?
Two words: Baaken. Eagle Ford. Okay, that's three.
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.
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