Making CO2 into fuel

Anthony Watts 29 November 2017
From the MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

     MIT-developed method converts carbon dioxide into useful compounds.
 CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — MIT researchers have developed a new system that could potentially be used for converting power plant emissions of carbon dioxide into useful fuels for cars, trucks, and planes, as well as into chemical feedstocks for a wide variety of products.

     The new membrane-based system was developed by MIT postdoc Xiao-Yu Wu and Ahmed Ghoniem, the Ronald C. Crane Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and is described in a paper in the journal ChemSusChem. The membrane, made of a compound of lanthanum, calcium, and iron oxide, allows oxygen from a stream of carbon dioxide to migrate through to the other side, leaving carbon monoxide behind. Other compounds, known as mixed ionic electronic conductors, are also under consideration in their lab for use in multiple applications including oxygen and hydrogen production.

     XiaoYu Wu pictured with the reactor his team used for the research. MIT researchers have developed a new system that could potentially be used for converting power plant emissions of carbon dioxide into useful fuels. The method may not only cut greenhouse emissions; it could also produce another potential revenue stream to help defray its costs. Image: Tony Pulsone
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