Notices
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Greenhouse Gases for Something Useful?

  1. #1 Greenhouse Gases for Something Useful? 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    17
    Hi there. I'm working on an project and I have an idea on how to reduce greenhouse gasses. In fact, my idea combines them to make something useful. The general idea is to split carbon dioxide into C and O2, then combine the carbon with methane (either C3H8 or 2C3H8) to create either ethylene or propane. This could then be used for a useful purpose. I have a few questions. First, through what process would you split CO2? Second, how would you combine CO2 with C3H8? And finally, could this actually work? I appreciate any and all help.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by jwscienceman View Post
    Hi there. I'm working on an project and I have an idea on how to reduce greenhouse gasses. In fact, my idea combines them to make something useful. The general idea is to split carbon dioxide into C and O2, then combine the carbon with methane (either C3H8 or 2C3H8) to create either ethylene or propane. This could then be used for a useful purpose. I have a few questions. First, through what process would you split CO2?
    The water gas shift reaction: CO2 + H2 CO + H2O

    Or the Sabatier reaction: CO2 + 4 H2 → CH4 + 2 H2O

    would be good starting points.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,632
    Actually, this leaves you with the problem of making hydrogen. And both reactions have some issue with them as well. CO isn't harmless, and creating H2 or CH4 doesn't really matter. The bottom reaction costs energy, i believe. Right now, they do exactly the opposite to produce hydrogen, without electrolysis.

    If you want to handle CO2, you have to either store it, or have some organism reduce it to O2 and sugars or CxHx2+2 chain.

    At my university this part is big business, and they haven't found a way, beyond using minerals to store the CO2 in, like olivine or other silicates. Promoting sedimentation of organics, or managing the food supply of oceans.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,657
    Quote Originally Posted by jwscienceman View Post
    Hi there. I'm working on an project and I have an idea on how to reduce greenhouse gasses. In fact, my idea combines them to make something useful. The general idea is to split carbon dioxide into C and O2, then combine the carbon with methane (either C3H8 or 2C3H8) to create either ethylene or propane. This could then be used for a useful purpose. I have a few questions. First, through what process would you split CO2? Second, how would you combine CO2 with C3H8? And finally, could this actually work? I appreciate any and all help.
    I'd like to understand first the thermodynamics of this. The obvious problem with any of this is that reducing CO2 is energetically costly. Where will this energy come from, if not from fossil fuel? The problem we have as a civilisation is that we demand more energy than we can make without resorting to the burning of fossil fuel. So it seems to me that any scheme to do what you suggest will have no net effect on reducing carbon emissions, since if you divert energy to do what you propose, you are depriving someone of it and they will burn fossil fuel to compensate. Unless, of course, you can tap some energy source that can do this but can't be used in another way.

    The sun is the obvious source of this type, via photosynthesis in plants. So it seems to me you need to do better than biofuels to get anywhere. But perhaps I have not understood your idea properly.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    17
    My idea, in a general view as of now, is to place my "device" (used loosely) on the underside of a plane's wings. There are two reasons: 1. air will be rushing through at a rapid pace, and will allow for the most possible carbon dioxide to pass through. 2. at 30,000 feet, there isn't really anything betwen a plane and the sun. So if you were to cover the wings of the plane in CIGS solar panels, you could harness the sun's solar energy to power the reaction.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    17
    I must say two things. One is that my idea is to decompose carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen. Two, the Sabatier reaction wouldn't be very useful, as it is converting one greenhouse gas to another. I appreciate the thought though.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by jwscienceman View Post
    Two, the Sabatier reaction wouldn't be very useful, as it is converting one greenhouse gas to another.
    I think it's very useful if the resulting methane is used to replace (for example) coal power.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    985
    Your idea is unusual in that you are attempting to deal with greenhouse gases post release, when they are already free in the atmosphere. Almost everyone tries to deal with them at, or before, the point of release.
    Puting anything on the lower surface of an airplane's wings is problematic. If you put enough stuff there the wing will stop working as a wing. Even before you knock the plane out of the sky, there is the question of increased drag. To overcome increased drag you will need to burn more fuel, generating more green house gases. Therefore a static installation on top of a building is probably better. You also need to figure in the greenhouse gas prodution of fabricating your device. Now you need to be more efficient than the competion. Your competion is grass. Can you beat the efficiency of grass in removing CO2 from air?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Can you beat the efficiency of grass in removing CO2 from air?
    I believe, with enough work, I can.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,657
    Quote Originally Posted by jwscienceman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Can you beat the efficiency of grass in removing CO2 from air?
    I believe, with enough work, I can.
    Agree with Sealeaf: this was I was getting at with the biofuel comment.

    But at least we've highlighted a couple of goals for your project to succeed: you need an energy supply that does not rely on the conventional energy pool involving fossil fuels, (hence probably solar) and (if it is to be solar) you to outperform plant photosynthesis of carbohydrates.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Greenhouse gases?
    By ChloeStack in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: July 14th, 2013, 12:01 PM
  2. Replies: 204
    Last Post: October 2nd, 2012, 01:16 AM
  3. Replies: 18
    Last Post: August 9th, 2012, 07:54 PM
  4. Coal and greenhouse gases.
    By Bunbury in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 26th, 2007, 07:01 PM
  5. Importance of greenhouse gases???
    By rct1718 in forum Earth Sciences
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 18th, 2006, 11:17 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •