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Researchers say sunlight yields more efficient carbon dioxide to methanol model
Date:2/20/2013

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Rajeshwar said he hopes that others will build on the research involving copper oxide nanotubes, CO2 and sunlight.

"Addressing tomorrow's energy needs and finding ways to stem the harmful effect of greenhouse gases are areas where UT Arlington scientists can connect their work to real-world problems," said Carolyn Cason, vice president for research at the University. "We hope solutions in the lab are only the beginning."

In addition to the journal, the new work also was featured in a recent edition of Chemical and Engineering News. That piece noted that the experiments generated methanol with 95 percent electrochemical efficiency and avoided the excess energy input, also known as overpotential, of other methods.

Tacconi, a recently retired research associate professor at UT Arlington, said the two types of copper oxide were selected because both are photoactive and they have complementary solar light absorption. "And what could be better in Texas than to use the sunlight for methanol generation from carbon dioxide?"

Other than fuel, methanol is used in a wide variety of chemical processes, including the manufacturing of plastics, adhesives and solvents, as well as wastewater treatment. In the United States, there are 18 methanol production plants with a cumulative annual capacity of more than 2.6 billion gallons, according to the paper.

The carbon dioxide-to-fuel research is part of the innovation going on at The University of Texas at Arlington, a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.


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Contact: Traci Peterson
tpeterso@uta.edu
817-521-5494
University of Texas at Arlington
Source:Eurekalert  

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