Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Green Carbon Center takes all-inclusive view of energy

Abstract:
Rice University think tank will strategize on environmentally sound policies on oil, gas, coal

By Mike Williams, Rice News Staff

Green Carbon Center takes all-inclusive view of energy

Houston, TX | Posted on October 25th, 2010

Rice University has created a Green Carbon Center to bring the benefits offered by oil, gas, coal, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other energy sources together in a way that will not only help ensure the world's energy future but also provide a means to recycle carbon dioxide into useful products.

Whether or not one believes in anthropogenic climate change, the fact is humans are throwing away a potentially valuable resource with every ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, said James Tour, Rice's T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science. Far from being a villain in the global warming debate, carbon will be a boon if the world can learn to use it well, he said.

"The key is to turn carbon dioxide into a useful material so it's no longer waste," he said. "We want the center to partner with energy companies -- including oil, natural gas and coal -- to make carbon a profitable resource."

A number of strategies are detailed in a paper in today's online edition of Nature Materials by Tour, Vicki Colvin, Rice's Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Chemistry and of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Carter Kittrell, a Rice research scientist.

Tour said the paper presents a taste of what Rice's new center intends to be: a think tank for ideas about the future of energy with a focus on green carbon and the technological know-how to back it up. As part of Rice's Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the Green Carbon Center will draw upon the combined knowledge of the university's nanotechnology experts, for whom the development of clean and plentiful energy is a priority.

"Eighty-five percent of our country's energy comes from fossil fuels, and Houston is the world capital of the industry that makes and produces and transports those fossil fuels to all of us," Colvin said. "So we are in a unique position as the leading university in Texas to transform that industry, to develop it in a green way, to make it sustainable and to teach people that just because it's carbon doesn't mean it has an environmental consequence, but it can in fact help us transition to a renewable energy economy of the future."

"The whole idea," Tour added, "is to lower the carbon dioxide footprint and to show you don't have to get rid of anybody's energy source.

"We want to say to the oil and gas and coal companies that even as we go to renewable forms of energy, we need you. We need oil for all of our manufacturable products -- plastics and fibers and building materials," he said. "We need coal for syngas and for the manufacture of chemical compounds. And we need natural gas to provide energy at least into the next century, as well as for the production of hydrogen."

The Rice researchers wrote in Nature Materials that the rapid expansion of solar and wind energy and the promise of a hydrogen-based energy economy do not negate the continuing, long-term need for carbon-based energy, particularly since so many American jobs depend on the digging, drilling and distribution of fossil fuels.

They suggested carbon dioxide separated from hydrogen through steam methane reformation could either be repurposed immediately as a basic feedstock for chemicals or sequestered temporarily in tapped-out oil wells, which would hold vast amounts. Compressed and liquefied carbon could even replace another precious resource -- water -- to enhance oil and gas recovery.

"It costs a lot to capture carbon dioxide and pump it underground, and that can negate the advantages of sequestration," Tour said. "But solar and wind power could replace coal-fired boilers to compress and transport carbon dioxide."

If an efficient catalytic process can be developed, water-based conversion of carbon dioxide back to methanol, formaldehyde or other small molecules "would be a tremendous scientific advance for humanity," the authors wrote.

They also noted a potential market for carbon dioxide in dry cleaning, where it could replace harmful chlorocarbons, and as a refrigerant to replace materials more than 1,000 times as potent as greenhouse gases.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Jobs

Secretary Vilsack Announces Partnership to Advance Commercial Potential of Cellulosic Nanomaterial from Wood December 11th, 2013

Cutting Away at the NRC's Research Capability December 6th, 2013

Project aims to mass-produce 'nanopetals' for sensors, batteries October 22nd, 2013

Governor Cuomo Announces 'Nano Utica' $1.5 Billion Public-Private Investment That Will Make the Mohawk Valley New York's Next Major Hub of Nanotech Research October 12th, 2013

Academic/Education

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

RMIT delivers $30m boost to micro and nano-tech August 26th, 2014

SEMATECH and Newly Merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT Launch New Patterning Center to Further Advance Materials Development: Center to Provide Access to Critical Tools that Support Semiconductor Technology Node Development August 7th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University Present a Workshop on AFM Nanomechanical and Nanoelectrical Characterization, Aug. 21-22 August 6th, 2014

Announcements

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Environment

New Nanosorbent Helps Elimination of Colorants from Textile Wastewater August 25th, 2014

Production of Toxic Ion Nanosorbents with High Sorption Capacity in Iran August 17th, 2014

PerkinElmer to Display Innovative Detection and Informatics Offerings at ACS National Meeting & Exposition Detection, Data Visualization and Analytics for Chemistry Professionals August 8th, 2014

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics July 30th, 2014

Energy

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices August 28th, 2014

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference August 27th, 2014

Competition for Graphene: Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors August 26th, 2014

Chemical reaction yields "tapes" of porphin molecules: Flexible tapes from the nanoworld August 13th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices August 28th, 2014

Competition for Graphene: Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors August 26th, 2014

Eco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturing: UMass Amherst team invents a way to create versatile, water-soluble nano-modules August 13th, 2014

An Inkjet-Printed Field-Effect Transistor for Label-Free Biosensing August 11th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE