SBIR Phase I:Method for carbon capture and recycling
This SBIR Phase I project will convert (recycle) CO2 into useful and economically important by-products (i.e., industrial feed stocks) using a nano crystalline anatase (TiO2) photo catalyst with a high surface area. Anatase is a well known photo-catalyst. The co-founders of the Nanospring platform hold a patent on the project catalyst system that has shown the ability to convert CO2 to methanol (using a gas-to-gas continuous reactor, patent applied for), and, possibly, formic acid and formaldehyde at room temperature. Specifically, the research will develop and test a filter-type system that could be retrofitted in-line of the exhaust stacks at power and industrial plants. This approach is termed Carbon Capture and Recycle. The Research Plan addresses three objectives by three sets of tests at the laboratory scale: 1) evaluation of the catalytic properties of the TiO2-coated silica Nanosprings mat formed on a 100 um glass frit; 2) optimization of the catalyst coating; and 3) evaluation and testing of the prototype catalyst filter system using 'real world' flue gas emissions.
The broader/commercial impact of the proposed project will be the potential for successful commercial application. There is a need for technologies that will reduce the carbon emitted to the atmosphere from coal-fired plants, and the project includes support from a large power company. The technology is particularly competitive for power plants that are long distances from geologically suitable CO2 storage sites. The process not only will be continuous flow but also could be by-product "tuneable", i.e., generating a variety of chemicals by controlling operating conditions. Based on the 30% efficiency identified in the preliminary laboratory testing, the process could convert one metric ton of CO2 into 0.245 metric tons of methanol.
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