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article imageBiogas made from biosolids produces sustainable hydrogen

By Tim Sandle     Sep 27, 2020 in Environment
Research continues into alternative and sustainable environmental technologies. Emerging processes include generating hydrogen from biogases; the development of methods to convert carbon dioxide into fuel; and molecular photoswitches.
Sustainable energy is the goal of many research institutes focused on finding other forms power that are more environmentally friendly. Such research takes different trajectories, as the three examples outlined below reveal.
Application of biogas
Technologists from RMIT University have been assessing alternative technology based on biosolids,which are necessary to drive the chemical reactions required to produce hydrogen from biogas. This fits in with the concept of the circular economy. With this specific example, the implication is that all of the materials required for hydrogen production can be sourced from wastewater treatment plants. Furthermore, in terms of sustainability without the use of expensive catalysts.
The biogas technology is discussed in the journal International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. The research paper is titled "Production of hydrogen by catalytic methane decomposition using biochar and activated char produced from biosolids pyrolysis."
Novel photocatalysts can perform solar-driven conversion of carbon dioxide into fuel
Environmental scientists have put together a type of 'heterostructured' photocatalyst drawn from titanium and copper. These are two of the most abundant and also relatively inexpensive metals. Developing a synthesis procedure, connected with the high stability of the photocatalyst, the researchers from Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology have offered an economically low-cost way to convert waste carbon dioxide and water into useful hydrocarbon fuels.The trigger catalyst for this is sunlight.
The research is published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. The research paper is titled "Sustained, photocatalytic CO2 reduction to CH4 in a continuous flow reactor by earth-abundant materials: Reduced titania-Cu2O Z-scheme heterostructures."
Molecule to store solar energy developed
A molecule that can adsorb energy from sunlight and then stores it in chemical bonds has been identified. This provides what could develop into a long-term use of the molecule is to capture solar energy efficiently and store it for later consumption, according to researchers based at Linköping University.
The molecule comes in two-variants.The first is a parent form that is capable of absorbing energy from sunlight. The second comes in an alternative form where the structure of the parent form is altered to become far more energy-rich. This is what is referred to as a molecular photoswitch.
The develop of the molecule is outlined in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The science paper is called "Photoinduced Changes in Aromaticity Facilitate Electrocyclization of Dithienylbenzene Switches."
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