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Researchers seek technology to convert carbon dioxide into energy

06-14-2011 14:18 BJT

SINGAPORE, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Researchers from Singapore and China are conducting a research aimed at using different technologies to completely capture and convert carbon dioxide in industrial emissions into energy, local daily Lianhe Zaobao reported on Tuesday.

The project, supported by the National Research Foundation (NSF) of Singapore, will make use of sunlight as well as photochemical and photosynthetic processes, the foundation said.

The researchers involved in the five-year project are from China's Peking University and Singapore's National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University. A research center will be established under the Campus for Research Excellence and Tehnological Enterprise, a program also known as CREATE, the foundation said.

It will be the first project involving cooperation with a Chinese university under the program. It will be located at the University Town of the National University of Singapore due to be completed by the end of the year.

Lee Yuan-Kun, a researcher at the National University of Singapore, said no single chemical process can capture and convert the carbon dioxide completely so the researchers will be first treating the emissions with photochemical and electrochemical processes to convert most of the carbon dioxide into energy resources such as methane.

The gas with thinner carbon dioxide will then be used to grow microalgae, he said.

Nevertheless, for the cost of renewable energy to be close to that of fossil fuel, the efficiency will have to be drastically improved by about five to 10 times, Lee said.

The project is one of three energy research projects to be housed under the Campus for Research Excellence and Tehnological Enterprise program.

Zhang Dongxiao, from the College of Engineering at Peking University, said that the research program seeks to develop energy efficient and environmentally friendly carbon capture technologies that can be applied in the manufacturing and chemical industries, and that it complements Peking University's strong capability in carbon storage.

"Reducing carbon intensity will not only benefit both countries in terms of cost competitiveness of products made, but also portrays a good image on our national responsibility to achieve a sustainable Earth," Zhang said.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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