Home > News > Putting CO2 to good use

More News

 
Mandela Washington Fellowship

Mandela Washington Fellowship

As part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute will return this summer in a virtual format, welcoming 25 young leaders from across Africa.
 
alumni achievement awards 2020

Outstanding alumni

Four alumni, from class years 1972 to 2004, have received the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of their professional accomplishments and public service.
 
CONNECT
Make a GiftYouTubeEMailTwitter

Putting CO2 to good use

Image Picker for Section 0
Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Team's finding could be just what the doctor ordered for Planet Earth

A piece of the metal bismuth

UD researchers have identified a specialized capability in this metal--bismuth--called catalytic plasticity, which can be harnessed to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and industrial chemicals.

The chunk of metal sitting on a table in Joel Rosenthals office at the University of Delaware looks like it should belong in a wizards pocket. Shiny silver with shocks of pink and splashes of gold, its called bismuth, and its currently used to make products ranging from shotgun pellets to cosmetics and antacids, including Pepto-Bismol.

But the research conducted by Rosenthal, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is expanding bismuths repertoirehes identified a kind of magic in the metal that may be just what the doctor ordered for Planet Earth. He says it could help reduce rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and provide sustainable routes to making fuels.

Rosenthal and his team in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have discovered that bismuth has an unusual property that can be harnessed to help the environmentas a chemical spark or catalyst for converting carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, into liquid fuels and industrial chemicals. The findings are reported in ACS Catalysis, a journal published by the American Chemical Society. Rosenthals team also has filed a patent on the work.

Rosenthal refers to bismuths specialized capability as catalytic plasticity. When an electrical current is applied to a bismuth film in a bath of salty liquids containing imidazolium and amidinium ions, he and his team can tune the chemical reaction to convert carbon dioxide to either a liquid fuel such as gasoline, or to formic acida valuable chemical with many industrial usesfrom preserving human food and livestock feed, to manufacturing rubber and leather, artificial flavorings and perfumes.

Traditionally, chemists have needed to create a new catalyst to promote each different chemical reaction they studied, from steps a to b, from b to c, and so forth, Rosenthal said, which makes this approachusing one catalyst that can be tailored or tuned to efficiently promote multiple types of reactionsparticularly novel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Joel Rosenthal in the lab

Joel Rosenthal (right) and postdoctoral fellow Abderrahman Atifi are working on a new approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Were working to push the boundaries of this idea, Rosenthal said. Our new findings are important from a technological standpointwe think this platform will allow renewable energy sources such as solar and wind to drive the direct production of liquid fuels. But more importantly, we believe this concept of catalytic plasticity signals a potential paradigm shift, a new way to think about renewable energy conversion, fuel production and catalysis, in general.

Rosenthal and his team previously showed that bismuth films can be used in conjunction with certain liquid salts as inexpensive catalysts for converting carbon dioxide and renewable energy to gaseous fuels such as carbon monoxide. In this study, they found they could use the same materials in the presence of different salts to convert carbon dioxide directly to liquid fuels.

Ive been fascinated by the field of catalysis for a long time, Rosenthal said. Thinking about how you can take something cheap and plentiful and convert it into something much more useful and valuable without having to dump a lot of extra energy into it has always captured my imagination. There are philosophical parallels between catalysis and the goals of the ancient alchemists. Alchemy is a loaded word, but in some ways, what we are studying is like modern alchemyefficiently transforming carbon dioxide to more valuable fuels and chemicals is akin to trying to convert lead to gold.

What impact could Rosenthals technology have on current carbon dioxide levels?

Its hard to predict the direct impact on those levels, he said. This technology would allow us to make liquid fuels using renewable electricity from sunlight and wind. This, in turn, would decrease our need for conventional petroleum resources, resulting in fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

This past April, Earths atmosphere attained its highest sustained levels of carbon dioxide since humans have been monitoring itexceeding 410 parts per million for the entire monthaccording to measurements made at Hawaiis Mauna Loa Observatory.

Rosenthal has been working on the challenge for nearly eight years and continues marching on.  

Finding chemistries to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric levels is important to me, he said.

The research team also included postdoctoral fellow Abderrahman Atifi; John L. DiMeglio, who received his doctorate from UD and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan; and David W. Boyce, who is now a research consultant.

The work was supported by Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST), an Energy Frontier Research Center located at the U.S. Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus postdoctoral fellowship in environmental chemistry to Atifi, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Article by Tracey Bryant; photos by Evan Krape

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
News Story Supporting Images and Text
Used in the Home Page News Listing and for the News Rollup Page
CAS researchers have found that the metal bismuth  can be used to convert carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, into liquid fuels and industrial chemicals.
5/31/2018
No
Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
rosenthal bismuth research
No
 
 
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
Putting CO2 to good use