skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: High Efficiency Solar-based Catalytic Structure for CO{sub 2} Reforming

Throughout this project, we developed and optimized various photocatalyst structures for CO{sub 2} reforming into hydrocarbon fuels and various commodity chemical products. We also built several closed-loop and continuous fixed-bed photocatalytic reactor system prototypes for a larger-scale demonstration of CO{sub 2} reforming into hydrocarbons, mainly methane and formic acid. The results achieved have indicated that with each type of reactor and structure, high reforming yields can be obtained by refining the structural and operational conditions of the reactor, as well as by using various sacrificial agents (hole scavengers). We have also demonstrated, for the first time, that an aqueous solution containing acid whey (a common bio waste) is a highly effective hole scavenger for a solar-based photocatalytic reactor system and can help reform CO{sub 2} into several products at once. The optimization tasks performed throughout the project have resulted in efficiency increase in our conventional reactors from an initial 0.02% to about 0.25%, which is 10X higher than our original project goal. When acid whey was used as a sacrificial agent, the achieved energy efficiency for formic acid alone was ~0.4%, which is 16X that of our original project goal and higher than anything ever reported for a solar-based photocatalyticmore » reactor. Therefore, by carefully selecting sacrificial agents, it should be possible to reach energy efficiency in the range of the photosynthetic efficiency of typical crop and biofuel plants (1-3%).« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1121751
DOE Contract Number:
FE0004224
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Phosphortech Corporation
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 10 SYNTHETIC FUELS