Interestingly, another method has come to light (pardon the pun in advance) in creating carbon monoxide – from perhaps an even more undesirable source than trash. Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico are working on a prototype that will concentrate solar energy to “re-energize” carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can then be used to synthesize a variety of fuels.
Sandia Labs’ Counter Rotating Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator (also known as CR5, thankfully) was designed as a solar-powered hydrolyzer originally, but researchers also realized the potential of the system to convert carbon dioxide gases into energy sources.
Used to produce hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon monoxide from carbon dioxide and water, the CR5 could be used in synthesizing fuels – by feeding these products to Coskata’s bacterial ethanol machine or providing the starting point for the synthesis of other fuels, from methanol to jet diesel, or even plastics.
Initially, researchers hope to place the CR5 as a collector at point sources of carbon dioxide. Ultimately, they plan for the CR5 to trap carbon dioxide directly from the air.
Whether syngas is created from trash or carbon dioxide, these inputs would be highly preferable to conventional raw fossil fuels. Ever heard of IGCC? Clean coal energy through gasification? Tell me again why we should mine for inputs when there is so much free trash and carbon dioxide.
written by ASiegel1, January 14, 2008
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