L.S. Fan, Distinguished University Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular
Engineering at The Ohio State University, holds samples of materials
developed in his laboratory that enable clean energy technologies.
Photo by Jo McCulty, courtesy of The Ohio State University.
Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In the first of two apers published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, the engineers report that they’ve devised a process that transforms shale gas into products such as methanol and gasoline—all while consuming carbon dioxide. Under certain conditions, the technology consumes all the carbon dioxide it produces plus additional carbon dioxide from an outside source.This process can also be applied to coal and biomass to produce useful products.
“Renewables are the future,” said Liang-Shih Fan, Distinguished University Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, who leads the effort. “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 solar power become the prevailing technologies.”