Innovative new process converts natural gas to energy up to 70 percent faster


A process that would enable the conversion of natural gas into energy up to 70 times faster has been developed by a team of scientists from the North Carolina State University, a news report reveals.

“This could make power generation from natural gas both cleaner and more efficient,” says Fanxing Li, co-author of a paper on the research and an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University.

The team has developed a very innovative type of oxygen carrier, that now includes a “mixed ionic-electronic conductor,” which effectively shuttles oxygen atoms into the natural gas very efficiently—making the chemical looping combustion process as much as 70 times faster. This mixed conducting material is stored in a nanoscale matrix with an iron oxide (normally known as rust) that serves as a source of oxygen for the mixed conductor to shuttle out into the natural gas.

Furthermore, beside generating energy at significantly higher speeds, the combustion process produces water vapor and CO2, that can be easily captured, making it a lot more environmentally-friendly.

Of course, we’re eagerly waiting for this mechanism to become an actual, real-life, working technology, which will certainly lead to a stabilization (and perhaps even lowering) of one’s energy bills.

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