If an automobile is running efficiently and smoothly on the highway and its consuming carbon dioxide from air as fuel instead of gasoline or petrol, what a delusion earth that would be. Researchers from the South West are functioning on a £1.4 million plan to turn the above dream into a realism. This car of future will consume one of the core causes of greenhouse effect. What a greener world that would be.
Scientists and engineers from many universities will merge their efforts to create that dream car running on carbon dioxide. The University of Bath is leading the research study. They are together by the University of the West of England and members from the University of Bristol.
Dr Frank Marken, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry (University of Bath) believed: “Current processes rely on using separate technology to capture and utilize the CO2, which makes the process very inefficient. By combining the processes the efficiency can be improved and the energy required to drive the CO2 reduction is minimized. It will be a massive challenge but we have a strong inter-disciplinary team that includes chemists, chemical engineers, biologists, and life-cycle analysts.”
Presently the project is attempted to develop porous materials. Porous materials are useful in absorbing the gas from the atmosphere Carbon dioxide causes global warming but scientists are converting it into chemicals that can be used to build vehicle fuel or plastics. They are utilizing the solar power for their testing. The researchers are envisaging a future where their porous materials are the major factor of a factory’s chimneys. These porous materials would be absorbing carbon dioxide pollutants from the atmosphere, reducing the effects of climate change.
Dr Petra Cameron, RCUK Fellow from the Department of Chemistry (University of Bath), understood: “We hope that the utilization of renewable energy to recycle CO2 will be an effective method to decrease the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere.” When this scheme will be accomplished it will signify that innovative type of fuels can be produced from old ‘carbon emissions’ that are produced from factories, plants and even cars themselves. The idea of ‘recycling’ carbon released from the fossil fuels is not new. But people are warming up towards this plan now. Now there is no lack of funds for such modern and new proposal.
The Bath-Bristol collaboration helps in drawing talents from different streams of knowledge such as researchers from Bath’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (I-SEE), the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) and School of Life Sciences at the University of the West of England.
Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos, (BRL), said, “One of great benefits of this plan is that it will utilize the natural abilities of microorganisms to reduce CO2 in the air and at the same time generate electricity or hydrogen, as needed.”
Dr David Fermin from the University of Bristol believed: “at this time, there are no large-scale technologies accessible for capturing and processing CO2 from atmosphere. The reality is that CO2 is rather diluted in the air and its chemical reactivity is very low. By combining clever substances design with heterogeneous catalysis, electro catalysis and biocatalysts, we endeavor at developing a useful carbon neutral technology.”
The project, financed by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is in its promising phase but the researchers expected the innovative technology could create an actual distinction in the struggle against climate change. The project is part of Research Councils UK (RCUK) cross-Council programme ‘Nanoscience: through Engineering to Application.