Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Carbon Dioxide Idea

  1. Aug 12, 2010 #1
    A Standord Solar Research Post about a new Solar Membrane Panel, flexible for a wide variety of uses, (clothing rechargers anyone?), offered that the panel design includes deposition of Carbon atoms extracted from Methane.
    My concept went to extracting Carbon Atoms from Carbon Dioxide and using them in the panel, while "freeing" the Oxygen atoms into the atmosphere to aid cooling.
    If there is nothing wrong with my chemistry, why hasn't that been done? Too difficult?
    It sounds like a "two-fer." using a pollutant and global warming component in a new process that is truly synergistic.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2010 #2

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It needs energy, quite a lot of energy.
    You would generally get this energy by burning C into CO2 in a coal fired power station!
     
  4. Aug 12, 2010 #3
    You seem to be explaining an origination process, not an extractive/conversion process.
    The objective is to separate the Carbon from the O, so that it can be used in the deposit process of manufacturing Solar panels as outlined by Standord U.
    If electricity could be used in the process, then the panels would/could generate their own raw supplies, plus help in cooling.
    Why not a fusion process?
     
  5. Aug 12, 2010 #4

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Making bonds gives off energy, breaking bonds takes energy.

    To break each C=O bond in CO2 takes about 805kJ/Mol but you only get back about 500kJ/mol to make the O=O bond so overall the reaction takes energy.

    This should be obvious by the fact that C+O2 ->CO2 happens in nature but not the other way around.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2010 #5

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Or looking at it another way: since the reaction is nearly exactly reversible and the power plant and distribution grid is about 1/3 efficient, you need to burn 3x as much coal (carbon) as you get back by using electricity to separate CO2 into its original carbon and oxygen.
     
  7. Aug 12, 2010 #6

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What is Standord U? And please provide references for the papers or reports that talk about these panels.
     
  8. Aug 15, 2010 #7
    Sorry, my Avatar insits on typing "d" for "f"

    STANFORD- CALIFORNIA
     
  9. May 4, 2011 #8
    Sounds like quite a smart concept to me. The energy produced by the solar cells could offset the energy needed to make the cells (over a period of time). Ideally this process could then depend on the electricity produced by the solar panels. Solves two problems in one but it's probably not very cost effective and the cells are probably inefficient, if you were going to invest in a power plant, especially since photovoltaic powerplants are more costly than solar thermal ones, you would be more likely to go for the cheaper technology (existing photovoltaic cells) which is already developed and on the market.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook