Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diamond provides technical progress

03.07.2015

Diamond should help to produce fuels and chemicals from carbon dioxide and light. This is the goal of a new research consortium receiving around EUR 3.9 million in funding from the European Union. It is coordinated by Professor Anke Krueger at the University of Würzburg.

To date only nature has been able to create organic substances from sunlight and the gas carbon dioxide, which is available in abundance in the Earth’s atmosphere – doing so in a simple water environment.


It might be possible with the help of diamond to turn carbon dioxide and sunlight into valuable raw materials, such as the gases methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO) or the alcohol methanol.

Image: Anke Krueger

The science world is also keen to master this skill in order to use it to produce fine chemicals or fuels for cars and energy generation, for example. This might work with new technologies based on tailor-made diamond materials.

This development activity will be performed in the new international research consortium DIACAT coordinated by Professor Anke Krueger of the Institute for Organic Chemistry at the University of Würzburg. DIACAT stands for “Diamond materials for the photocatalytic conversion of CO2 to fine chemicals and fuels using visible light”.

The European Union (EU) is supplying the consortium with around EUR 3.9 million in funding over the next four years; a good EUR 615,000 of this will go to the University of Würzburg.

The EU approved the project in its Horizon 2020 program. This invited “novel ideas for radically new technologies”. A total of 670 project proposals were submitted, only 24 of which received a funding commitment. DIACAT is the only project among them that is coordinated by an institution in Germany. It starts on 1 July 2015.

Diamond: What makes it so extraordinary

Diamond consists of pure carbon and is a very unique material. It is not just its proverbial hardness and its jewelry qualities that make it a material of the future. “There is so much more to diamond,” explains the Würzburg chemistry professor. Depending on the manufacturing process, you can equip it with other elements, for example, to create a semiconductor from the perfect electrical insulator.

Diamond also possesses exceptional electronic properties. Thanks to these, it is possible to emit electrons from the surface of a diamond electrode with the help of light. These electrons can then be used in water, for example, for chemical reactions with different starting materials.

Goal: To replace UV light with sunlight

Even the mere possibility of producing electrons dissolved in water is already special. “Yet, the high energy of these electrons also enables reactions that would not be at all possible using other semiconductor materials such as silicon, silicon carbide, or gallium arsenide,” explains Anke Krueger. These reactions include returning carbon dioxide to the chemical cycle.

So far, however, the procedure has only worked with ultraviolet light. “Our goal now is to be able to use the visible light of the sun instead and in doing so develop a particularly environmentally friendly technology,” says the chemist. “If we are successful, this will make a major contribution to generating fuels and chemicals in a manner that conserves resources and it may propel technological change.”

DIACAT: The institutions involved

Work toward this demanding goal will be carried out in DIACAT from July 2015 onwards. The project combines the expertise of six universities and research institutes in the field of diamond materials and electrochemistry.

Alongside Anke Krueger’s team at the University of Würzburg, the parties also involved are the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics in Freiburg (Germany), CEA Saclay (France), Oxford University (UK), the University of Uppsala (Sweden), and the Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy (Germany). The final member of the consortium is the German company Ionic Liquids Technologies GmbH (Heilbronn), a specialist in ionic liquids. Administrative support is provided by the agency GABO:mi in Munich.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Anke Krueger, Institute for Organic Chemistry at the University of Würzburg
T +49 (0)931 31-85334, anke.krueger@uni-wuerzburg.de

Gunnar Bartsch | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Beyond conventional solution-process for 2-D heterostructure
22.06.2018 | Science China Press

nachricht Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film
22.06.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>