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The development of a new generation of nanostructures for the elimination of greenhouse gases (NANO-GEI)

16th national competition for scientific and technical research

Climate change

Senior Researcher : Francisco Javier Lafuente Sancho

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Research Centre or Institution : Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.


This project is in its first phase. To date the system has been designed to undertake the first discontinuous trials of gas elimination. The experimental apparatus consists of a closed recipient which will hold the (solid) adsorbent material and the gas. After a time in contact, the concentration of gas will be measured and compared with the amount injected at the start of the experiment. Activated carbon was used in the first trials as it is a well-known and characterised adsorbent. The experimental apparatus gave a good result, and during the forthcoming months the study of the elimination of greenhouse gases using nanoparticles will commence.

The first experiments will take place with nitrous oxide and methane as greenhouse gases, and the nanoparticles used will be made of magnesium oxide, titanium oxide, silicon oxide, iron oxide, zinc oxide and cerium oxide. In this first phase, the nanopartícles used will be commercially available ones, as they are affordable and easy to obtain. The drawback is that commercial nanopartícles are in a solid state, so that they form aggregates, increasing particle size. Subsequent trials will used gas entry and exit, with nanoparticles of the same oxides in aqueous suspension. In this case, re-suspended commercial nanoparticles will be used after being subjected to ultrasound with the aim of reducing their size, together with nanoparticles prepared by the Catalan Nanotechnology Institute, which is also taking part in this project.

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