A University of Warwick researcher, Prof. Evgeny Rebrov, together with members of an international team, has won a £9 million ERC Synergy grant SCOPE to study the effect of fast temperature modulations in chemical reactors to improve the efficiency of current technologies utilising cold plasma.
This research is likely to transform the way bulk chemicals will be produced in the future. The ultimate goal is a cheap, standalone solar-powered system to turn CO2 into fuels for vehicles, cooking or power generation.
In the framework of the SCOPE project (Surface-COnfined fast-modulated Plasma for process and Energy intensification in small molecules conversion), Rebrov will investigate how cold plasma and its interaction with catalytic coatings will intensify the production of fertilizers as well as so called solar fuels.
These solar fuels received their name because they are made from nothing more than atmospheric air, water and electricity produced by sunlight. Their synthesis has two processes that need to run in symbiosis.
The first is a plasma system that uses electricity from solar panels to split CO2 and H2O into oxygen, hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Then these species can be converted over solid catalysts into alcohols like methanol and ethanol that are the precursors to liquid fuels. Fertilizers are made by another chemical route to split atmospheric N2 and H2O to make ammonia and nitrates.
The SCOPE project aims to provide a pathway to alternative chemical resources, while helping to mitigate emissions and climate change associated with use of fossil fuels.
The SCOPE project will start on 1 April 2019 and has a duration of six years.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldfertilizer.com/special-reports/21032019/project-to-investigate-using-carbon-dioxide-to-make-rural-farm-fertilizers/