UCLA team proposes non-photosynthetic biological conversion of CO2

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Most of us naturally associate biological CO 2 conversion with photosynthesis in plants and algae. Furthermore, the maximum efficiency of solar energy conversion by photosynthesis is 5%, while typical solar panel efficiency reaches 20%.

2020 136

Startup licenses ORNL technology for converting organic waste to hydrogen

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The technologies work as a system that converts organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel. The system combines biology and electrochemistry to degrade organic waste—such as plant biomass or food waste—to produce hydrogen. During the microbial electrolysis process, a diverse microbial community first breaks down organic material. The company is creating prototypes for modular waste conversion systems that customers can place onsite.

2019 98

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New porous coordination polymer captures CO2, converts it to useful organic materials

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A new material that can selectively capture CO 2 molecules and efficiently convert them into useful organic materials has been developed by researchers at Kyoto University, along with colleagues at the University of Tokyo and Jiangsu Normal University in China. The new material is a porous coordination polymer (PCP, also known as MOF; metal-organic framework), a framework consisting of zinc metal ions. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC

2019 88

Light-powered nano-bio hybrid organisms consume CO2, create plastics and fuels

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University of Colorado Boulder researchers have developed nanobio-hybrid organisms capable of using airborne carbon dioxide and nitrogen to produce a variety of plastics and fuels, a promising first step toward low-cost carbon sequestration and eco-friendly manufacturing for chemicals. Now, exposure to even small amounts of indirect sunlight would activate the microbes’ CO 2 appetite, without a need for any source of energy or food to carry out the energy-intensive biochemical conversions.

2019 109

ReactWell licenses ORNL catalyst for direct conversion of CO2 to ethanol

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ReactWell , LLC, has licensed a novel waste-to-fuel technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to improve energy conversion methods for cleaner, more efficient oil and gas, chemical and bioenergy production. ReactWell will bring ORNL’s electrochemical process, which converts carbon dioxide directly into ethanol ( earlier post ), into the company’s existing conversion solution known as the ReactWell process.

2019 101

Siemens introduces new Organic Rankine module for waste heat recovery

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Siemens recently introduced an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) module for industrial plants or power stations for the conversion of waste heat to electricity. The new Siemens Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) module. The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) module is derived from the Rankine Cycle, a closed loop used in steam-driven heat engines. In this case, however, organic silicone oils are used as the work medium.

2014 80

Chiyoda successfully demonstrates liquid organic chemical hydride hydrogen storage technology

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Japan-based Chiyoda Corporation announced that a demonstration plant located in its Koyasu Office and Research Park has successfully achieved expected performance using a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology. Organic Chemical Hydrides (OCH) can store and transport hydrogen under ambient temperature and pressure. The Chiyoda dehydrogenation catalyst shows MCH conversion > 95%, toluene selectivity >99.9% Chiyoda’s hydrogen supply chain concept. Click to enlarge.

2013 96

Columbia University engineers make breakthrough in understanding electroreduction of CO2 for conversion to electrofuels

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Recent research in electrocatalytic CO 2 conversion points the way to using CO 2 as a feedstock and renewable electricity as an energy supply for the synthesis of different types of fuel and value-added chemicals such as ethylene, ethanol, and propane. In addition, our insight into CO 2 activation at the solid-water interface will enable researchers to better model the prebiotic scenarios from CO 2 to complex organic molecules that may have led to the origin of life on our planet.

2018 73

Chevrolet one of 16 organizations across US recognized by EPA for Climate Action; only automaker

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded 2015 Climate Leadership Awards to 16 organizations and one individual representing a wide array of industries from finance and manufacturing to retail and technology for showing what the agency said was exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. Dozens of students participated in the clean energy conversation and successfully engaged their campus leaders to secure funding.

2015 88

Researchers develop thin-layer artificial biofilm technology for green ethylene production

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2 ethylene at 1.54% light to ethylene conversion efficiency. Ethylene ( earlier post ) is one of the most important organic commodity chemicals with an annual global demand of more than 150 million tons. Biorefinery Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Market Background

2020 92

Harvard team demonstrates new metal-free organic–inorganic aqueous flow battery; potential breakthrough for low-cost grid-scale storage

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Researchers at Harvard have demonstrated a metal-free organic–inorganic aqueous flow battery—a quinone–bromide flow battery (QBFB)—as an example of a class of energy storage materials that exploits the favorable chemical and electrochemical properties of a family of molecules known as quinones. Quinones are naturally abundant, inexpensive, small organic molecules, and similar to molecules that store energy in plants and animals. Cell schematic.

2014 119

Linde and Shell team up to commercialize lower-carbon technology for ethylene: E-ODH

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Ethylene is widely used in the chemical industry; its worldwide production exceeds that of any other organic compound. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Market Background

2020 90

McGill team develops simple system for reversible H2 storage using organic cyclic hydrocarbons; alternative route to solar fuels

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A team at McGill University in Canada has developed a reversible hydrogen storage/release system based on the metal-catalyzed hydrogenation and photo-induced dehydrogenation of organic cyclic hydrocarbons at room temperature. The system easily switches between hydrogen addition (>97% conversion) and release (>99% conversion) with superior capacity of 7.1

2015 99

European power-to-methane company Electrochaea opens California subsidiary

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The core of the power-to-gas (P2G) technology is the proprietary biocatalyst that can be deployed in a simple and cost-effective energy conversion system. Biomethane / RNG Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Market Background Power-to-Gas

2020 107

New silica-organic hybrid absorbents deliver among highest performance yet reported for CO2 capture from air

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organic hybrid adsorbents—in a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. mmol/g) with a comparable organic amine content of 36% and closer to the ones obtained on an HAS with a higher organic content of 42.5% (1.72 Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Climate ChangeAdsorption of CO 2 from the air at 25 °C on FS-PEI-50 and FS-PEI-33 under dry and humid conditions. Credit: ACS, Goeppert et al.

2012 73

Analysis finds air-quality justification for CNG vehicle conversion in developing cities, despite negative climate impact

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An analysis by a team in Bangladesh found large air quality and associated health benefits accruing to the residents of Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh) as a result of the rapid conversion of the motor vehicle fleet to CNG. Around 2,045 avoided premature deaths in greater Dhaka can be attributed to air quality improvements from the CNG conversion policy in 2010, resulting in a saving of around US$400 million, they found. Climate Change Conversions Emissions Health Natural Gas

2013 94

246th ACS National Meeting symposium on CO2 conversion to fuels

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Converting CO 2 to usable fuels was the topic of a symposium— CO 2 Conversion: Thermo-, Photo- and Electro-Catalytic —on Sunday at the 246 th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Indianapolis, Indiana. Recent studies have centered on CO 2 capture, secure storage, and chemical conversions. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Fuels

Researchers discover novel water-assisted approach to double or triple rate of furfural conversion

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Researchers at the University of Oklahoma, in collaboration with the University of Tulsa, have a novel approach for the water-assisted upgrading of the renewable chemical furfural, doubling or tripling the rate of conversion. It is known that water plays an important role as an environmentally-friendly solvent, replacing organic solvents.

2019 75

Calysta Energy engineering organisms to convert methane to low-cost liquid hydrocarbons; BioGTL process

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Start-up Calysta Energy plans to use methane as a feedstock for engineered organisms to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels and high value chemicals that are cost-effective, scalable and reduce environmental impact. Conversion method. Calysta leverages extensive expertise in protein engineering, gene synthesis and gene expression optimization to create advanced molecular biology tools able to engineer novel production organisms which enable process technology.

NREL modifies organism to produce ethylene via photosynthesis: alternative to fossil-fuel based ethylene for chemicals and transportation fuels

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PCC 6803—and demonstrated that the organism remained stable through at least four generations, producing ethylene gas that could be easily captured. The organism produced ethylene at a high rate and is still being improved. This study suggests that Synechocystis , expressing the modified efe gene, has potential to be an efficient biological catalyst for the uptake and conversion of CO 2 to ethylene. And it isn’t going to be a food buffet for other organisms.

2012 85

PNNL, OSU team develops a durable, inexpensive molybdenum-phosphide catalyst for efficient conversion of wastewater & seawater into hydrogen

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In MECs, an electrical current is coupled with bacteria to decompose organics and make hydrogen. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), with colleagues from Oregon State University, have developed PNNL a durable, inexpensive molybdenum-phosphide catalyst that efficiently converts wastewater and seawater into hydrogen. Details of the team’s study appear in the journal ACS Catalysis.

2019 93

MIT researchers devise simple catalytic system for fixation and conversion of CO2

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Researchers at MIT have devised a simple, soluble metal oxide system to capture and transform CO 2 into useful organic compounds. The new reaction, described in an open access paper in the RSC journal Chemical Science , transforms carbon dioxide into a negatively charged carbonate ion, which can then react with a silicon compound to produce formate, a common starting material for manufacturing useful organic compounds.

2014 73

ExxonMobil, UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab develop new MOF for carbon capture and steam regeneration

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Laboratory tests indicate the patent-pending materials—tetraamine-functionalized metal organic frameworks—capture carbon dioxide emissions up to six times more effectively than conventional amine-based carbon capture technology.

2020 130

NREL enzyme enables conversion of biomass to sugar up to 14x faster than current alternatives; changing the economics of conversion

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Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed an enzyme that can enable the conversion of biomass to sugars up to 14 times faster and more cheaply than competing catalysts in enzyme cocktails today. The enzyme called CelA, a cellulase from the bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii , could thus could change the economics of biofuel conversion.

2015 87

New one-pot conversion of CO2 to polycarbonate copolymers

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Researchers at Texas A&M have developed a two-step, one-pot conversion of CO 2 and epoxides (highly reactive compounds with a three-membered ring made of two carbon atoms and one oxygen atom) to polycarbonate block copolymers that contain both water-soluble and hydrophobic regions and can aggregate into nanoparticles or micelles. Some of the amphiphilic polycarbonates made by this method are able to aggregate into particles or micelles in a self-organization process.

2015 78

Multicomponent catalytic system efficiently converts carbon dioxide to methanol

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We achieved superior performance by eliminating catalyst incompatibility through encapsulating at least one of the catalysts involved in the tandem process in nanoporous materials called metal-organic frameworks.

2020 120

US researchers demo separation-free, IL-based process for conversion of biomass to advanced biofuel

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Bisabolene is a chemical precursor to bisabolane—a potential renewable diesel and jet fuel that phase separates readily when released to the fermentation broth, enabling efficient recovery via two-phase extractive fermentation with an organic overlay. Conversion efficiency improved with scale, demonstrating the feasibility of integrating all biomass conversion unit operations within the biorefinery.

2018 69

U Waterloo team shows four-electron conversion for Li-O2 batteries for high energy density; inorganic molten salt electrolyte, high temperature

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The new work, published in Science , shows that four-electron conversion for lithium-oxygen electrochemistry is highly reversible. The Waterloo team is the first to achieve four-electron conversion, which doubles the electron storage of lithium-oxygen, also known as lithium-air, batteries. In addition, the superoxide consumes the organic electrolyte in the process, which greatly limits the cycle life.

GTI partners with Purdue’s CISTAR Center on conversion of shale resources to valuable liquid fuels

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The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is partnering with Purdue University’s Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR) and other experts from academia, industry and government to develop technologies for responsible conversion of alkanes—light hydrocarbons including methane, ethane and propane—into more valuable liquid fuels, including gasoline and diesel fuels ( earlier post ).

2017 65

Mitsubishi and Partners Develop Highly Integrated Organic Photovoltaics Module

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Mitsubishi Cooperation (MC), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Tokki Corporation have developed a new, highly-integrated Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) module. Organic semiconductor materials are deposited on the substrate and then divided into several cells with the laser. The new module is highly integrated and should improve sunlight conversion efficiency. Structure of the OPV. Source: Mitsubishi Corporation. Click to enlarge.

2009 60

Review finds encouraging progress in electrochemical reduction of CO2 to organic compounds; substantial advances in catalysts, electrolytes and reactors still required

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Accomplishments to date in the field of the electrochemical reduction of CO 2 to produce a variety of organic compounds for use as feedstocks for chemical synthesis or conversion into hydrocarbon fuels have been encouraging, according to a Perspective by Dr. Paul Kenis and graduate student Devin Whipple published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. Current research efforts in the electrochemical conversion of CO 2. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Catalysts

2010 69

Sandia-led team demonstrates two efficient hybrid biochemical routes for lignin conversion to value-added chemicals

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A Sandia National Laboratories-led team has demonstrated two new routes to lignin conversion that combine the advantages of earlier methods while minimizing their drawbacks. Conversely, harsh chemicals can deconstruct lignin in hours or even minutes. The team’s first new conversion method is a multi-stage process that begins by pre-treating lignin with a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide and water.

2017 69

Researchers show mixotrophic fermentation process improves carbon conversion, boosting yields and reducing CO2

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A team from White Dog Labs , a startup commercializing a mixotrophy-based fermentation process, and the University of Delaware have shown that anaerobic, non-photosynthetic mixotrophy—the concurrent utilization of organic (for example, sugars) and inorganic (CO 2 ) substrates in a single organism—can overcome the loss of carbon to CO 2 during fermentation to increase product yields and reduce overall CO 2 emissions.

2016 84

UCLA researchers engineer organisms to convert proteins to biofuels; recycling nitrogen back into growth

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Yi-Xin Huo, Kwang Myung Cho, Jimmy G Lafontaine Rivera, Emma Monte, Claire R Shen, Yajun Yan and James C Liao (2011) Conversion of proteins into biofuels by engineering nitrogen flux. Researchers at UCLA have demonstrated the feasibility of using proteins—one of the most abundant biomolecules on earth—to produce biofuels. A paper on the work appears in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Biofuels are currently produced from carbohydrates and lipids, using a variety of pathways.

2011 78

IBM and Stanford University Developing New Organic Catalysts for New Types of Biodegradeable, Biocompatible Plastics

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Scientists from IBM and Stanford University are developing organic molecules for use as catalysts (organocatalysis) that could lead to the development of new types of biodegradable, biocompatible plastics. In a Perspective published in the ACS journal Macromolecules , they highlight the opportunities and challenges in the use of organic molecules as catalysts for polymerization reactions.

2010 73

Japan team reports pathway to green ammonia: photocatalytic conversion of nitrogen with water

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The solar-to-chemical energy conversion efficiency is 0.02%, which is the highest efficiency among the early reported photocatalytic systems. A number of inorganic or organic semiconductors have been tried for NH 3 production, but these suffer from low activity or stability.

2017 65

Osaka researchers find formate dehydrogenase reduces CO2 directly to formic acid

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Their work, published in a paper in the RSC’s New Journal of Chemistry , points to a catalyst in developing and designing an artificial photosynthesis system that efficiently converts carbon dioxide into organic molecules. The development of an effective catalyst is an important step in creating an artificial photosynthesis system that uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into organic molecules. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Catalysts Market Background

2020 91

EU GRAMOFON project ends after 42 months with promising results on CO2 capture

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In particular, materials such as modified-graphene aerogels and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have shown very good CO 2 capture capacities and greater selectivity than traditional adsorbents. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Market Background MaterialsThe European GRAMOFON Project, coordinated by AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Center has developed an innovative CO 2 capture process based on novel nanomaterials and microwave energy.

2020 104

New catalytic process for direct conversion of fermentation-derived butyric acid to biobutanol

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Researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) and Sungkyunkwan University have developed a hybrid conversion process for the production of biobutanol based on the selective catalytic hydrogenation of butyric acid (C 4 H 8 O 2 ) resulting from the fermentation of glucose.

2014 80

New efficient biphasic catalytic process for conversion of biomass to dense jet-range fuels

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In the proposed biTCP for cylcoalkane production, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic catalysts are added into two immiscible solven—an organic phase and an aqueous phase—creating a biphasic environment for a “cascade” of chemical reactions in both phases. Using 1,8-cineole as a model terpenoid compound, the researchers attained a ~100% conversion of 1,8-cineole and a ~100% selectivity to p-menthane at 120°C within one hour.

2017 65

Perspective: Drive Star Conversion Program Could Cut US Oil Use in Half by 2020

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We ask organizations to move this realistic, conservative, and cost-effective approach to the top of their talking points and priorities. Cash for Conversions” will start by fixing many of our 100 million trucks, vans, and buses. When they’re mass-produced, conversions will cost under $10-$15,000. After our one-year test, in summer 2011, we’ll be ready to create a powerful new US conversion industry. Tags: Conversions Perspective Plug-ins

2010 87

Penn State and partners hosting Next Generation Biomass Conversion Short Course and facility tour

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The Penn State Biomass Energy Center—in partnership with the Penn State Biomass Energy Center, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit and the USDA-sponsored NEWBio Bioenergy Consortium—is hosting a two-day short course in “ Next Generation Biomass Conversion ” 11-12 November in Malvern, PA, northwest of Philadelphia. Specific topics for the short course include: Thermochemical Conversion Pathways.

2013 93

Keasling: metabolic engineering will soon rival and potentially eclipse synthetic organic chemistry; designer cells for fuels and chemicals

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One area where metabolic engineering has a sizable advantage over synthetic organic chemistry is in the production of natural products, particularly active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), some of which are too complex to be chemically synthesized and yet have a value that justifies the cost of developing a genetically engineered microorganism. The future of engineered biocatalysts. Pathways, enzymes, and genetic controls are designed from characteristics of parts.

2010 83