Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanoifibers clean sulfur from fuel

Photo by Prashant Jain

Nanofibers of metal oxide provide lots of highly reactive surface area for scrubbing sulfur compounds from fuel. Sulfur has to be removed because it emits toxic gasses and corrodes catalysts.
Photo by Prashant Jain

Nanofibers of metal oxide provide lots of highly reactive surface area for scrubbing sulfur compounds from fuel. Sulfur has to be removed because it emits toxic gasses and corrodes catalysts.

Abstract:
Sulfur compounds in petroleum fuels have met their nano-structured match.

University of Illinois researchers developed mats of metal oxide nanofibers that scrub sulfur from petroleum-based fuels much more effectively than traditional materials. Such efficiency could lower costs and improve performance for fuel-based catalysis, advanced energy applications and toxic gas removal.

Nanoifibers clean sulfur from fuel

Champaign, IL | Posted on December 17th, 2012

Co-led by Mark Shannon, a professor of mechanical science and engineering at the U. of I. until his death this fall, and chemistry professor Prashant Jain, the researchers demonstrated their material in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Sulfur compounds in fuels cause problems on two fronts: They release toxic gases during combustion, and they damage metals and catalysts in engines and fuel cells. They usually are removed using a liquid treatment that adsorbs the sulfur from the fuel, but the process is cumbersome and requires that the fuel be cooled and reheated, making the fuel less energy efficient.

To solve these problems, researchers have turned to solid metal oxide adsorbents, but those have their own sets of challenges. While they work at high temperatures, eliminating the need to cool and re-heat the fuel, their performance is limited by stability issues. They lose their activity after only a few cycles of use.

Previous studies found that sulfur adsorption works best at the surface of solid metal oxides, so graduate student Mayank Behl, from Jain's group, and Junghoon Yeom, then a postdoctoral researcher in Shannon's group, set out to create a material with maximum surface area. The solution: tiny grains of zinc titanate spun into nanofibers, uniting high surface area, high reactivity and structural integrity in a high-performance sulfur adsorbent.

The nanofiber material is more reactive than the same material in bulk form, enabling complete sulfur removal with less material, allowing for a smaller reactor. The material stays stable and active after several cycles. Furthermore, the fibrous structure grants the material immunity from the problem of sintering, or clumping, that plagues other nano-structured catalysts.

"Our nanostructured fibers do not sinter," Jain said. "The fibrous structure accommodates any thermophysical changes without resulting in any degradation of the material. In fact, under operating conditions, nanobranches grow from the parent fibers, enhancing the surface area during operation."

Jain's group will continue to investigate the enhanced properties of nanofiber structures, hoping to gain an atomic-level understanding of what makes the material so effective.

"We are interested in finding out the atomic sites on the surface of the material where the hydrogen sulfide adsorbs," said Jain, who is also affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the U. of I. "If we can know the identity of these sites, we could engineer an even more efficient adsorbent material. The atomic or nanoscale insight we gain from this material system could be useful to design other catalysts in renewable energy and toxic gas removal applications."

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the department of chemistry and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the U. of I.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Liz Ahlberg
Physical Sciences Editor
217-244-1073


Prashant Jain
217-333-3417

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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 Links

The paper, A regenerable oxide-based H2S adsorbent with nanofibrous morphology, is available online:

Related News Press

News and information

Dirty to drinkable: Engineers develop novel hybrid nanomaterials to transform water July 28th, 2016

Thomas Swan and NGI announce unique partnership July 28th, 2016

Penn team uses nanoparticles to break up plaque and prevent cavities July 28th, 2016

Beating the heat a challenge at the nanoscale: Rice University scientists detect thermal boundary that hinders ultracold experiments July 28th, 2016

New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2-D nanomaterials July 27th, 2016

Chemistry

New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2-D nanomaterials July 27th, 2016

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Pushing a single-molecule switch: An international team of researchers from Donostia International Physics Center, Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, University of Liverpool, and the Polish Academy of Sciences has shown a new way to operate a single-molecule switch July 19th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Thomas Swan and NGI announce unique partnership July 28th, 2016

Penn team uses nanoparticles to break up plaque and prevent cavities July 28th, 2016

Beating the heat a challenge at the nanoscale: Rice University scientists detect thermal boundary that hinders ultracold experiments July 28th, 2016

Enhancing molecular imaging with light: New technology platform increases spectroscopic resolution by 4 fold July 27th, 2016

Discoveries

Dirty to drinkable: Engineers develop novel hybrid nanomaterials to transform water July 28th, 2016

Penn team uses nanoparticles to break up plaque and prevent cavities July 28th, 2016

Beating the heat a challenge at the nanoscale: Rice University scientists detect thermal boundary that hinders ultracold experiments July 28th, 2016

Enhancing molecular imaging with light: New technology platform increases spectroscopic resolution by 4 fold July 27th, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

WSU researchers 'watch' crystal structure change in real time: Breakthrough made possible by new Argonne facility July 27th, 2016

New lithium-oxygen battery greatly improves energy efficiency, longevity: New chemistry could overcome key drawbacks of lithium-air batteries July 26th, 2016

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Attosecond physics: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms July 25th, 2016

Announcements

Dirty to drinkable: Engineers develop novel hybrid nanomaterials to transform water July 28th, 2016

Thomas Swan and NGI announce unique partnership July 28th, 2016

Penn team uses nanoparticles to break up plaque and prevent cavities July 28th, 2016

Beating the heat a challenge at the nanoscale: Rice University scientists detect thermal boundary that hinders ultracold experiments July 28th, 2016

Energy

New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2-D nanomaterials July 27th, 2016

Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up: New understanding of concretes properties could increase lifetime of the building material, decrease emissions July 25th, 2016

An accelerated pipeline to open materials research: ORNL workflow system unites imaging, algorithms, and HPC to advance materials discovery and design July 24th, 2016

Researchers discover key mechanism for producing solar cells: Better understanding of perovskite solar cells could boost widespread use July 21st, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic