Bridging the Gap
Source: UC Santa Barbara
As we work to toward more sustainable ways of powering our lifestyles, there is a quest to bridge the gap between the carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels we rely on for our most basic needs, and the cleaner, but not yet economically feasible alternative technologies.
To that end, a group at UC Santa Barbara has explored methods by which currently cheap and abundant methane (CH4) can be reduced to clean-burning hydrogen (H2) while also preventing the formation of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas. Its report, “Catalytic molten metals for the direct conversion of methane to hydrogen and separable carbon,” appears in the journal Science.
“In the U.S., methane will be the heart of our economy for four or five decades, and figuring out ways to use it more sustainably is what motivates us,” said UCSB chemical engineering professor Eric McFarland. “This paper was an interesting angle on something we’ve been looking at for a long time.”
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