Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tailor-made diamond for the continuous photocatalysis allowing CO₂ conversion

19.09.2016

Fraunhofer ICT-IMM is coordinating a national research cooperation dealing with the development of a microreactor system for the environmentally friendly utilization of CO₂ by means of sunlight.

Carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane and oxides of nitrogen – all of them greenhouse gases being in the line of fire when searching for the contributors to global warming. With more than three-quarters CO₂ represents the most significant part of the emission.


Although the carbon cycle is almost closed when using bio mass for energy generation, the utilization of generated CO₂ is a highly topical sociopolitical question. In case of a successful utilization, especially when applying alternative sources of energy such as wind energy, hydrodynamic power or solar energy, the eco-balance can sustainably be improved.

Nature as paradigm

In the course of the project CarbonCat important findings are expected to properly address this question. Doing so, high-power LEDs will be used in combination with the targeted conversion of CO₂ relying on a novel, predominantly carbon-based catalyst system. This catalyst system is supposed to be applied in a micro structured reaction environment.

At long sight the consortium, made up of the Fraunhofer ICT-IMM, the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg and the company Sahlmann Photochemical Solutions, technologically aims at coming as close as possible to nature inspired photosynthesis while exclusively using sunlight.

“This pioneering project allows us to recreate the natural photosynthesis process in a technical system. Instead of plant cells with their photosynthetically active chloroplasts we will use a newly developed micro reactor containing the diamond photocatalyst as photoactive center. The special construction of the micro reactor allows a continuous mixing of CO₂ and water under radiation with visible light”, explains Thomas Rehm, Senior Scientist at Fraunhofer ICT-IMM and coordinator of the research project.

Innovative catalyst system put in the right light

The project CarbonCat is supposed to prove that it is possible to convert CO₂ into valuable chemical C1 components such as methanol under near-natural conditions. For Anke Krüger, professor of Organic Chemistry at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg this means that “besides the technological part of the work the chemical optimization of diamond as a photocatalyst will be playing a key role. The selective functionalization of diamond surfaces with complex organic compounds is anything but simple, especially with respect to the long-term stability when being used in a continuous process as we intend to apply in the micro reactor.”

In addition to the reactor technology and the catalytically active surfaces the selection and the adequate mixing of the required wavelengths as well as the arrangement of the LEDs are of vital importance. “The interaction between the light source and the other system components deserves the greatest attention. This is as relevant for the photocatalytic process as for the overall efficiency of the reactor”, predicts Benjamin Sahlmann, working as a freelance chemist under the name of Sahlmann Photochemical Solutions.

“With the knowledge gained from CarbonCat we hope to be able to contribute to minimizing the environmental impact resulting from existing CO₂ emissions not too far in the future”, concludes Thomas Rehm.

The national joint research project CarbonCat is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the support measure “CO₂ Plus”. The project partners will receive a funding of 1.34 million € for a period of three years.

Contribution of the project Partners

Based on its expertise in the development and exploration of micro structured reactors Fraunhofer ICT-IMM will realize a continuously operating reactor plant whose core will be the novel diamond photocatalyst. The physical adaptation of the diamond material applied in the micro reactor as well as the detailed investigation of the photocatalytic process in continuous operation mode also is part of ICT-IMM’s tasks.

Professor Krüger’s research group at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg is dealing with the fabrication, characterization and application of nano scale carbon-based materials, especially diamond, for more than 10 years. CarbonCat will make use of the methods to establish an exceptionally stable link of functional molecules at diamond surfaces which have been developed by the research group. These methods will help to optimize the diamond material for its use as photocatalyst in the micro reactor.

Sahlmann Photochemical Solutions will develop the light sources required for the photocatalysis in the reactor system within the CarbonCat project. The tailor-made fabrication of the required light sources, their spectral measurement as well as their evaluation to ensure safety in the workplace is part of the tasks.

Dr. Stefan Kiesewalter | Fraunhofer ICT-IMM
Further information:
http://www.imm.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>