Scientists have found a way to make carbon from straw and cornJanuary 23, 2018
Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Colorado, USA) have developed a process for the production of nitrile acrylic acid – the main component of carbon fiber – from straw and corn stalks. Researchers believe that the technique can be scaled and used in the production of cars.
The process involves the isolation of sucrose from the plants, followed by the production of 3-hydroxypropionic acid, which when converted to ammonia and an inexpensive titanium oxide catalyst is converted to acrylonitrile. As a result of this chemical process, excess heat and a toxic hydrogen cyanide compound are not released.
The laboratory already cooperates with several companies that will help it produce a large amount of acrylonitrile. In the future, it is planned to convert it into carbon fiber and test the material obtained in real production.
Currently, acrylonitrile is produced from oil, ammonia, oxygen and an expensive catalyst. At the same time, a lot of heat and toxic by-products are released during the production process. The new source of raw materials, according to scientists, will help stabilize prices and reduce the cost of the final product.
Earlier, Audi said it would use the latest advances in hydropower and chemistry for the production of synthetic fuels. The production process will include the electrolysis of water and the chemical reaction of hydrogen with carbon dioxide (CO2), derived from the atmosphere or biogenic gases.