Inspenet, August 20, 2023.
Among the gases that exert the greatest influence on the phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect, methane stands out as it has an impact 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Right now, a team of researchers is considering its use for the benefit of society.
This is the method to transform methane into clean energy
Richard Blair and Laurene Tetard, scientists featured in a story featured on the University of Central Florida website, have developed a method that transforms methane into clean energy and useful materials .
His first invention involves the production of hydrogen from various hydrocarbons , including methane, without releasing polluting gases into the atmosphere. This process uses visible light, either from the sun or from a lighting source, which could allow countries with limited energy resources to generate power using only methane and light . In this regard, Richard Blair argues that:
“Our process removes a greenhouse gas (methane) and converts it into something that is not a greenhouse gas and two things that are valuable products: hydrogen and carbon . And so we remove methane from the cycle.”
Secondly, the aforementioned scientists emphasize that the resulting carbon can be used in the creation of highly efficient materials , with applications that, according to their statements, are practically unlimited. These materials could be used in the manufacture of new medical devices or next-generation chemical sensors. However, the true potential could be unlocked if its scale can be manipulated down to nanometer levels, opening up an exciting prospect for the future.
For her part, Laurene Tetard, an expert in nanotechnology, is enthusiastic about the new field they are exploring and about the way in which they can take advantage of a gas that is harmful to our environment and transform it according to our needs. The scientist highlights that:
“It’s like having a carbon 3D printer instead of a polymer 3D printer. If you have such a tool, then there are even carbon structural designs that we can come up with that are impossible today. If we can control light down to a minuscule size, perhaps we can create nanoscale objects to form patterns of nanostructures a thousand times smaller.”