Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Solar Energy News  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















SOLAR DAILY
Chemists create molecular 'leaf' that collects and stores solar power without solar panels
by Staff Writers
Bloomington IN (SPX) Mar 09, 2017


The new molecule employs a nanographene complex (on left) to absorb light and drive the conversion of carbon dioxide (upper center) to carbon monoxide (on right). Image courtesy Ben Noffke and Richard Schaugaard, Indiana University.

An international team of scientists led by Liang-shi Li at Indiana University has achieved a new milestone in the quest to recycle carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere into carbon-neutral fuels and others materials.

The chemists have engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide - a carbon-neutral fuel source - more efficiently than any other method of "carbon reduction." The process is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"If you can create an efficient enough molecule for this reaction, it will produce energy that is free and storable in the form of fuels," said Li, associate professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry. "This study is a major leap in that direction."

Burning fuel - such as carbon monoxide - produces carbon dioxide and releases energy. Turning carbon dioxide back into fuel requires at least the same amount of energy. A major goal among scientists has been decreasing the excess energy needed.

This is exactly what Li's molecule achieves: requiring the least amount of energy reported thus far to drive the formation of carbon monoxide. The molecule - a nanographene-rhenium complex connected via an organic compound known as bipyridine - triggers a highly efficient reaction that converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide.

The ability to efficiently and exclusively create carbon monoxide is significant due to the molecule's versatility.

"Carbon monoxide is an important raw material in a lot of industrial processes," Li said. "It's also a way to store energy as a carbon-neutral fuel since you're not putting any more carbon back into the atmosphere than you already removed. You're simply re-releasing the solar power you used to make it."

The secret to the molecule's efficiency is nanographene - a nanometer-scale piece of graphite, a common form of carbon (i.e. the black "lead" in pencils) - because the material's dark color absorbs a large amount of sunlight.

Li said that bipyridine-metal complexes have long been studied to reduce carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide with sunlight. But these molecules can use only a tiny sliver of the light in sunlight, primarily in the ultraviolet range, which is invisible to the naked eye. In contrast, the molecule developed at IU takes advantage of the light-absorbing power of nanographene to create a reaction that uses sunlight in the wavelength up to 600 nanometers - a large portion of the visible light spectrum.

Essentially, Li said, the molecule acts as a two-part system: a nanographene "energy collector" that absorbs energy from sunlight and an atomic rhenium "engine" that produces carbon monoxide. The energy collector drives a flow of electrons to the rhenium atom, which repeatedly binds and converts the normally stable carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide.

The idea to link nanographene to the metal arose from Li's earlier efforts to create a more efficient solar cell with the carbon-based material. "We asked ourselves: Could we cut out the middle man - solar cells - and use the light-absorbing quality of nanographene alone to drive the reaction?" he said.

Next, Li plans to make the molecule more powerful, including making it last longer and survive in a non-liquid form, since solid catalysts are easier to use in the real world. He is also working to replace the rhenium atom in the molecule - a rare element - with manganese, a more common and less expensive metal.

Research paper

SOLAR DAILY
DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions Introduces New Solamet
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Mar 07, 2017
As the industry leader in solar solutions that delivers proven power and lasting value for customers around the world, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions introduced new innovations for its DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization paste to enable advanced screen printing at the 2017 International Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo in Tokyo, Japan. Specially designed for double printing, Solamet ... read more

Related Links
Indiana University
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SOLAR DAILY
Turning food waste into tires

New materials could turn water into the fuel of the future

Novel 3-D manufacturing leads to highly complex, bio-like materials

Tree growth model assists breeding for more wood

SOLAR DAILY
Robot uses social feedback to fetch objects intelligently

Switzerland taps Kongsberg for Protector weapon system

Shape-shifting molecular robots respond to DNA signals

Tracking the movement of cyborg cockroaches

SOLAR DAILY
Wind energy gaining traction, U.S. trade group says

French, Spanish companies set for more wind power off coast of France

German company to store US wind energy in batteries in Texas

Breakthrough research for testing and arranging vertical axis wind turbines

SOLAR DAILY
Australia sues Audi, Volkswagen over emissions cheating

Norway says half of new cars now electric or hybrid

Volkswagen to recall over 680,000 Audis in China

Pressure mounts on Uber and CEO after missteps

SOLAR DAILY
ABB delivers first urban battery storage solution in Denmark to support renewables

Confined nanoparticles improve hydrogen storage materials performance

New path suggested for nuclear fusion

Tweaking electrolyte makes better lithium-metal batteries

SOLAR DAILY
EU approves Hungary's Kremlin-backed nuclear plant

Areva narrows losses in 2016

Researchers find new clues for nuclear waste cleanup

Next generation of nuclear robots will go where none have gone before

SOLAR DAILY
New Zealand lauded for renewables, but challenges remain

EU parliament backs draft carbon trading reforms

Taiwan lantern makers go green for festival of lights

Republican ex-top diplomats propose a carbon tax

SOLAR DAILY
The battle to save Bangkok's 'Green Lung'

Ancient peoples shaped the Amazon rainforest

Indigenous protest in Honduras marks activist's murder

Forests to play major role in meeting Paris climate targets




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






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement