Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ENERGY TECH
Scientists Finely Control Methane Combustion to Get Different Products

File image.
by Staff Writers
Atlanta GA (SPX) Apr 20, 2011
Scientists have discovered a method to control the gas-phase selective catalytic combustion of methane, so finely that if done at room temperature the reaction produces ethylene, while at lower temperatures it yields formaldehyde.

The process involves using gold dimer cations as catalysts - that is, positively charged diatomic gold clusters. Being able to catalyze these reactions, at or below room temperature, may lead to significant cost savings in the synthesis of plastics, synthetic fuels and other materials.

The research was conducted by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Ulm. It appears in the April 14, 2011, edition of The Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

"The beauty of this process is that it allows us to selectively control the products of this catalytic system, so that if one wishes to create formaldehyde, and potentially methyl alcohol, one burns methane by tuning its reaction with oxygen to run at lower temperatures, but if it's ethylene one is after, the reaction can be tuned to run at room temperature," said Uzi Landman, Regents' and Institute Professor of Physics and director of the Center for Computational Materials Science at Georgia Tech.

Reporting last year in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, a team that included theorists Landman and Robert Barnett from Georgia Tech and experimentalists Thorsten Bernhardt and Sandra Lang from the University of Ulm, found that by using gold dimer cations as catalysts, they can convert methane into ethylene at room temperature.

This time around, the team has discovered that, by using the same gas-phase gold dimer cation catalyst, methane partially combusts to produce formaldehyde at temperatures below 250 Kelvin or -9 degrees Fahrenheit.

What's more, in both the room temperature reaction-producing ethylene, and the formaldehyde generation colder reaction, the gold dimer catalyst is freed at the end of the reaction, thus enabling the catalytic cycle to repeat again and again.

The temperature-tuned catalyzed methane partial combustion process involves activating the methane carbon-to-hydrogen bond to react with molecular oxygen. In the first step of the reaction process, methane and oxygen molecules coadsorb on the gold dimer cation at low temperature.

Subsequently, water is released and the remaining oxygen atom binds with the methane molecule to form formaldehyde. If done at higher temperatures, the oxygen molecule comes off the gold catalyst, and the adsorbed methane molecules combine to form ethylene through the elimination of hydrogen molecules.

In both the current work, as well as in the earlier one, Bernhardt's team at Ulm conducted experiments using a radio-frequency trap, which allows temperature-controlled measurement of the reaction products under conditions that simulate realistic catalytic reactor environment.

Landman's team at Georgia Tech performed first-principles quantum mechanical simulations, which predicted the mechanisms of the catalyzed reactions and allowed a consistent interpretation of the experimental observations.

In future work, the two research groups plan to explore the use of multi-functional alloy cluster catalysts in low temperature-controlled catalytic generation of synthetic fuels and selective partial combustion reactions.



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Georgia Tech
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


ENERGY TECH
A Chance Discovery May Revolutionize Hydrogen Production
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Apr 20, 2011
Producing hydrogen in a sustainable way is a challenge and production cost is too high. A team led by EPFL Professor Xile Hu has discovered that a molybdenum based catalyst is produced at room temperature, inexpensive and efficient. The results of the research are published online in Chemical Science Thursday the 14th of April. An international patent based on this discovery has just been ... read more







ENERGY TECH
Coal miners cold on Australia carbon tax

Nonprofits Awarded For Energy Efficiency And Water Conservation

Ride-Sharing For Road Freight

NIST Zeroes In On Energy Consumption Of Ice Makers

ENERGY TECH
NRL Scientists Demonstrate Novel Ionic Liquid Batteries

Scientists Finely Control Methane Combustion to Get Different Products

A Chance Discovery May Revolutionize Hydrogen Production

Fishermen fight for compensation a year after BP spill

ENERGY TECH
Google, Japanese invest $500 million in wind farm

Manitoba wind farm comes online

Alstom Announces Commercial Operation Of First North American Wind Farms

Vestas unveils new offshore turbine

ENERGY TECH
Solar power growth sees new challenges

Ribbon Cut On Detroit Edison Solar Installation At MCCC

Solar Power Installation Online At Anne Arundel County's Combined Support Services Complex

Clean Energy Pathways To Enter JV For Development Of Two Tennessee Solar Farms

ENERGY TECH
Expert: EU reactors can't take plane hit

Second day of violent protests over India atomic plant

Areva to set up treatment system at Japan plant

Italy proposes halt to nuclear programme

ENERGY TECH
Sugarcane Cools Climate

B3C Fuel Solutions Expands Efforts To Promote Ethanol Education

Congress Must Maintain Commitment To Advanced Biofuels And Renewable Fuel Standard

OnSite Energy Unveils Gen2 Biodiesel Processor In Flint

ENERGY TECH
Asia's star ever brighter in space

What Future for Chang'e-2

China setting up new rocket production base

China's Tiangong-1 To Be Launched By Modified Long March II-F Rocket

ENERGY TECH
Carbon Sequestration Estimate In U.S. Increased - Barring A Drought

Shootingstars Provide Clues To Likely Response Of Plants To Global Warming

Europe faces drought and flood burden: climate scientist

Climate Change Poses Major Risks For Unprepared Cities


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement