3-D printed polymer turns methane to methanol

121 views Leave a comment

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory chemist Sarah Baker binds a gas chromatography vial used to magnitude a volume of methanol constructed by a enzyme-embedded polymer. Photos by George Kitrinos/LLNL

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory chemist Sarah Baker binds a gas chromatography vial used to magnitude a volume of methanol constructed by a enzyme-embedded polymer. Photos by George Kitrinos/LLNL

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have total biology and 3-D copy to emanate a initial reactor that can invariably furnish methanol from methane during room heat and pressure.

The group private enzymes from methanotrophs, germ that eat methane, and churned them with polymers that they printed or molded into innovative reactors.

The research, that could lead to some-more fit acclimatisation of methane to appetite production, appears in a Jun 15 book of Nature Communications.

“Remarkably, a enzymes keep adult to 100 percent activity in a polymer,” pronounced Sarah Baker, LLNL chemist and plan lead. “The printed enzyme-embedded polymer is rarely stretchable for destiny growth and should be useful in a far-reaching operation of applications, generally those involving gas-liquid reactions.”

Advances in oil and gas descent techniques have done immeasurable new stores of healthy gas, stoical essentially of methane, available. However, a vast volume of methane is leaked, vented or flared during these operations, partly since a gas is formidable to store and ride compared to more-valuable glass fuels. Methane emissions also minister about one-third of stream net tellurian warming potential, essentially from these and other distributed sources such as cultivation and landfills.

LLNL element scientist Jennifer Knipe loads a prepolymer-protein creosote onto a theatre of a vast area projection microstereolithography complement to be marinated as a 3D-printed polymer.

LLNL element scientist Jennifer Knipe loads a prepolymer-protein creosote onto a theatre of a vast area projection microstereolithography complement to be marinated as a 3D-printed polymer.

Current industrial technologies to modify methane to some-more essential products, like steam reformation, work during high heat and pressure, need a vast series of section operations and produce a operation of products. As a result, stream industrial technologies have a low potency of methane acclimatisation to final products and can usually work economically during really vast scales

A record to well modify methane to other hydrocarbons is indispensable as a essential proceed to modify “stranded” sources of methane and healthy gas (sources that are small, proxy or not tighten to a pipeline) to liquids for serve processing, a group reported.

The usually famous matter (industrial or biological) to modify methane to methanol underneath ambient conditions with high potency is a enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO), that translates methane to methanol. The greeting can be carried out by methanotrophs that enclose a enzyme, though this proceed fundamentally requires appetite for maintain and metabolism of a organisms. Instead, a group distant a enzymes from a mammal and used a enzymes directly.

The group found that removed enzymes offer a guarantee of rarely tranquil reactions during ambient conditions with aloft acclimatisation potency and larger flexibility.

A new 3-D printed polymer in a vast area projection microstereolithography system.

A new 3-D printed polymer in a vast area projection microstereolithography system.

Up to now, many industrial bioreactors are influenced tanks, that are emasculate for gas-liquid reactions,” pronounced Joshuah Stolaroff, an environmental scientist on a team. “The judgment of copy enzymes into a strong polymer structure opens a doorway for new kinds of reactors with most aloft throughput and reduce appetite use.”

The group found that a 3-D-printed polymer could be reused over many cycles and used in aloft concentrations than probable with a required proceed of a enzyme diluted in solution.

Source: LLNL