Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Environmental Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Stinky Gases Emanating from Landfills Could Transform into Clean Energy

Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Research will be presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

A new technique that transforms stinky, air-polluting landfill gas could produce the sweet smell of success as it leads to development of a fuel cell generating clean electricity for homes, offices and hospitals, researchers say. The advance would convert methane gas into hydrogen, an efficient, clean form of energy.

The researcher’s report is part of the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

The meeting, attended by thousands of scientists, features nearly 12,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. It is being held here through Thursday.

Recently, hydrogen has received much attention as a clean alternative to fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas - when burned. Hydrogen, however, only emits water vapor when it is burned. For this reason, some companies are developing hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles and homes.

One way to do this is to convert methane, another greenhouse gas, to hydrogen by reacting it with carbon dioxide. And smelly landfills are excellent sources of these gases - microbes living in the waste produce large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide as by-products.

But researchers have faced challenges bringing this idea to reality. For example, finding a proper catalyst has been a major hurdle, says Fabio B. Noronha, Ph.D., who is with the National Institute of Technology in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A catalyst is a substance that speeds up processes that otherwise would occur slowly. In this case, researchers are using catalysts to help turn methane and carbon dioxide into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The problem is that carbon, which forms as a contaminant during the process, deposits onto the catalyst.

“The heart of the process for the production of hydrogen from landfill gas is the catalyst, and this can be disrupted by the presence of carbon,” Noronha explains. “Because of carbon deposition, the catalyst loses the capacity to convert the landfill gases into hydrogen.”

He says that to solve this problem, Noronha’s team developed a new catalyst material that removes the carbon as soon as it is formed. This approach is based on the automotive catalysts developed in the past to control car and truck emissions, he adds. The material is a perovskite-type oxide supported on ceria, which is a component of ceramics.

Right now, the researchers are working on the reaction in the laboratory, but the new, highly stable catalyst should be ideal for commercialization. As a step in that direction, the team plans to test it on a larger scale using material from a local landfill, says Noronha.

The researchers acknowledge funding from Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo Research Foundation and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Carbon Dioxide ‘Sponge’ Could Ease Transition to Cleaner Energy
A sponge-like plastic that sops up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) might ease our transition away from polluting fossil fuels and toward new energy sources, such as hydrogen.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
A New Solution for Storing Fuel for Alternative Energy
Scientists are developing a novel way to store hydrogen to smooth out the long-awaited transition away from fossil fuels.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Special Air Filter Blocks Small Particles Called UFPs from Getting Inside Cars
Newly developed HECA filters could reduce UFP levels by 93 percent.
Friday, April 11, 2014
New Oil Spill Dispersant made from Peanut Butter, Chocolate & Ice Cream
The new dispersant is made from edible ingredients that both breaks up oil slicks and keeps oil from sticking to the feathers of birds.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Scientific News
Low-level Arsenic Exposure Before Birth Associated with Early Puberty in Female Mice
Study examine whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.
Intensity of Desert Storms May Affect Ocean Phytoplankton
MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.
Determination of Phosphate in Soil Extracts in the Field: A Green Chemistry Enzymatic Method
New method for phosphate determination which can be carried out in the field to obtain results on the spot.
Open-Source Photometric System for Enzymatic Nitrate Quantification
New method proposed for developing a cheaper, more accessible open-source water testing platform capable of performing Nitrate Reductase Nitrate-Nitrogen Analysis.
Toxic Algae is a Threat to Our Water
A report concludes that blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the U.S., and may increasingly pose a global health threat.
Significant Part of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Comes From River and Sea Organisms
Running streams are key sources of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but why is it so?
Better Estimates of Worldwide Mercury Pollution
New findings show Asia produces twice as much mercury emissions as previously thought.
Real-Time Data for Cancer Therapy
Biochemical sensor implanted at initial biopsy could allow doctors to better monitor and adjust cancer treatments.
New Biosensors for Managing Microbial ‘Workers’
Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have unveiled new biosensors that enable scientists to more effectively control and 'communicate with' engineered bacteria.
Playing 'Tag' with Pollution lets Scientists See Who's It
Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot from different global regions and can track where it lands on the Tibetan Plateau, researchers have determined which areas around the plateau contribute the most soot — and where.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!