Researchers develop environmentally friendly technology converting fossil fuels into electricity

4 January 2018 (Last Updated January 4th, 2018 12:14)

Engineers at Ohio State University are developing new technologies to convert fossil fuels and biomass into clean electricity without emitting carbon dioxide.

Researchers develop environmentally friendly technology converting fossil fuels into electricity
Liang-Shih Fan holds samples of materials developed in his laboratory that enable clean energy technologies. Credit: Jo McCulty / The Ohio State University.

Engineers at Ohio State University are developing new technologies to convert fossil fuels and biomass into clean electricity without emitting carbon dioxide.

The newly developed chemical looping technology uses metal oxide particles in high-pressure reactors to burn fossil fuels and biomass without the presence of oxygen in the air.

It is suggested the technology could provide a more environmentally friendly way to generate power until renewable energies such as solar and wind become more widely available and affordable.

"The technology could provide a more environmentally friendly way to generate power until renewable energies such as solar and wind become more widely available."

Ohio State University chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Liang-Shih Fan said: “Renewables are the future. We need a bridge that allows us to create clean energy until we get there, something affordable we can use for the next 30 years or more, while wind and solarpower become the prevailing technologies.”

Another technique developed by the engineers is capable of transforming shale gas into products such as methanol and gasoline. It consumes carbon dioxide and can also be applied to convert coal and biomass into other useful products.

The university researchers have also discovered a way to extend the life of the particles that enable the transformation of coal or other fuels into electricity and useful products.