Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis

Renaud de Richter, Tingzhen Ming, Philip Davies, Wei Liu, Sylvain Caillol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Large-scale atmospheric removal of greenhouse gases (GHGs) including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone-depleting halocarbons could reduce global warming more quickly than atmospheric removal of CO2. Photocatalysis of methane oxidizes it to CO2, effectively reducing its global warming potential (GWP) by at least 90%. Nitrous oxide can be reduced to nitrogen and oxygen by photocatalysis; meanwhile halocarbons can be mineralized by red-ox photocatalytic reactions to acid halides and CO2. Photocatalysis avoids the need for capture and sequestration of these atmospheric components. Here review an unusual hybrid device combining photocatalysis with carbon-free electricity with no-intermittency based on the solar updraft chimney. Then we review experimental evidence regarding photocatalytic transformations of non-CO2 GHGs. We propose to combine TiO2-photocatalysis with solar chimney power plants (SCPPs) to cleanse the atmosphere of non-CO2 GHGs. Worldwide installation of 50,000 SCPPs, each of capacity 200 MW, would generate a cumulative 34 PWh of renewable electricity by 2050, taking into account construction time. These SCPPs equipped with photocatalyst would process 1 atmospheric volume each 14–16 years, reducing or stopping the atmospheric growth rate of the non-CO2 GHGs and progressively reducing their atmospheric concentrations. Removal of methane, as compared to other GHGs, has enhanced efficacy in reducing radiative forcing because it liberates more °OH radicals to accelerate the cleaning of the troposphere. The overall reduction in non-CO2 GHG concentration would help to limit global temperature rise. By physically linking greenhouse gas removal to renewable electricity generation, the hybrid concept would avoid the moral hazard associated with most other climate engineering proposals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-96
Number of pages29
JournalProgress in Energy and Combustion Science
Volume60
Early online date24 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Fingerprint

Photocatalysis
Greenhouse gases
Solar chimneys
Methane
Halocarbons
Power plants
Electricity
Nitrous Oxide
Global warming
Troposphere
Oxides
Ozone
Photocatalysts
Cleaning
Hazards
Nitrogen
Carbon
Oxygen
Acids

Bibliographical note

© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Keywords

  • atmospheric greenhouse gas removal
  • GHG photocatalysis
  • giant photocatalytic reactor
  • large scale atmospheric air cleansing
  • negative emissions technology
  • solar chimney power plant
  • solar-wind hybrid

Cite this

de Richter, R., Ming, T., Davies, P., Liu, W., & Caillol, S. (2017). Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 60, 68-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2017.01.001
de Richter, Renaud ; Ming, Tingzhen ; Davies, Philip ; Liu, Wei ; Caillol, Sylvain. / Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis. In: Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. 2017 ; Vol. 60. pp. 68-96.
@article{2af21b58eceb4479997ff0f5dc939e42,
title = "Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis",
abstract = "Large-scale atmospheric removal of greenhouse gases (GHGs) including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone-depleting halocarbons could reduce global warming more quickly than atmospheric removal of CO2. Photocatalysis of methane oxidizes it to CO2, effectively reducing its global warming potential (GWP) by at least 90{\%}. Nitrous oxide can be reduced to nitrogen and oxygen by photocatalysis; meanwhile halocarbons can be mineralized by red-ox photocatalytic reactions to acid halides and CO2. Photocatalysis avoids the need for capture and sequestration of these atmospheric components. Here review an unusual hybrid device combining photocatalysis with carbon-free electricity with no-intermittency based on the solar updraft chimney. Then we review experimental evidence regarding photocatalytic transformations of non-CO2 GHGs. We propose to combine TiO2-photocatalysis with solar chimney power plants (SCPPs) to cleanse the atmosphere of non-CO2 GHGs. Worldwide installation of 50,000 SCPPs, each of capacity 200 MW, would generate a cumulative 34 PWh of renewable electricity by 2050, taking into account construction time. These SCPPs equipped with photocatalyst would process 1 atmospheric volume each 14–16 years, reducing or stopping the atmospheric growth rate of the non-CO2 GHGs and progressively reducing their atmospheric concentrations. Removal of methane, as compared to other GHGs, has enhanced efficacy in reducing radiative forcing because it liberates more °OH radicals to accelerate the cleaning of the troposphere. The overall reduction in non-CO2 GHG concentration would help to limit global temperature rise. By physically linking greenhouse gas removal to renewable electricity generation, the hybrid concept would avoid the moral hazard associated with most other climate engineering proposals.",
keywords = "atmospheric greenhouse gas removal, GHG photocatalysis, giant photocatalytic reactor, large scale atmospheric air cleansing, negative emissions technology, solar chimney power plant, solar-wind hybrid",
author = "{de Richter}, Renaud and Tingzhen Ming and Philip Davies and Wei Liu and Sylvain Caillol",
note = "{\circledC} 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).",
year = "2017",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.pecs.2017.01.001",
language = "English",
volume = "60",
pages = "68--96",

}

de Richter, R, Ming, T, Davies, P, Liu, W & Caillol, S 2017, 'Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis', Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, vol. 60, pp. 68-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2017.01.001

Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis. / de Richter, Renaud; Ming, Tingzhen; Davies, Philip; Liu, Wei; Caillol, Sylvain.

In: Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Vol. 60, 05.2017, p. 68-96.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis

AU - de Richter, Renaud

AU - Ming, Tingzhen

AU - Davies, Philip

AU - Liu, Wei

AU - Caillol, Sylvain

N1 - © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

PY - 2017/5

Y1 - 2017/5

N2 - Large-scale atmospheric removal of greenhouse gases (GHGs) including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone-depleting halocarbons could reduce global warming more quickly than atmospheric removal of CO2. Photocatalysis of methane oxidizes it to CO2, effectively reducing its global warming potential (GWP) by at least 90%. Nitrous oxide can be reduced to nitrogen and oxygen by photocatalysis; meanwhile halocarbons can be mineralized by red-ox photocatalytic reactions to acid halides and CO2. Photocatalysis avoids the need for capture and sequestration of these atmospheric components. Here review an unusual hybrid device combining photocatalysis with carbon-free electricity with no-intermittency based on the solar updraft chimney. Then we review experimental evidence regarding photocatalytic transformations of non-CO2 GHGs. We propose to combine TiO2-photocatalysis with solar chimney power plants (SCPPs) to cleanse the atmosphere of non-CO2 GHGs. Worldwide installation of 50,000 SCPPs, each of capacity 200 MW, would generate a cumulative 34 PWh of renewable electricity by 2050, taking into account construction time. These SCPPs equipped with photocatalyst would process 1 atmospheric volume each 14–16 years, reducing or stopping the atmospheric growth rate of the non-CO2 GHGs and progressively reducing their atmospheric concentrations. Removal of methane, as compared to other GHGs, has enhanced efficacy in reducing radiative forcing because it liberates more °OH radicals to accelerate the cleaning of the troposphere. The overall reduction in non-CO2 GHG concentration would help to limit global temperature rise. By physically linking greenhouse gas removal to renewable electricity generation, the hybrid concept would avoid the moral hazard associated with most other climate engineering proposals.

AB - Large-scale atmospheric removal of greenhouse gases (GHGs) including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone-depleting halocarbons could reduce global warming more quickly than atmospheric removal of CO2. Photocatalysis of methane oxidizes it to CO2, effectively reducing its global warming potential (GWP) by at least 90%. Nitrous oxide can be reduced to nitrogen and oxygen by photocatalysis; meanwhile halocarbons can be mineralized by red-ox photocatalytic reactions to acid halides and CO2. Photocatalysis avoids the need for capture and sequestration of these atmospheric components. Here review an unusual hybrid device combining photocatalysis with carbon-free electricity with no-intermittency based on the solar updraft chimney. Then we review experimental evidence regarding photocatalytic transformations of non-CO2 GHGs. We propose to combine TiO2-photocatalysis with solar chimney power plants (SCPPs) to cleanse the atmosphere of non-CO2 GHGs. Worldwide installation of 50,000 SCPPs, each of capacity 200 MW, would generate a cumulative 34 PWh of renewable electricity by 2050, taking into account construction time. These SCPPs equipped with photocatalyst would process 1 atmospheric volume each 14–16 years, reducing or stopping the atmospheric growth rate of the non-CO2 GHGs and progressively reducing their atmospheric concentrations. Removal of methane, as compared to other GHGs, has enhanced efficacy in reducing radiative forcing because it liberates more °OH radicals to accelerate the cleaning of the troposphere. The overall reduction in non-CO2 GHG concentration would help to limit global temperature rise. By physically linking greenhouse gas removal to renewable electricity generation, the hybrid concept would avoid the moral hazard associated with most other climate engineering proposals.

KW - atmospheric greenhouse gas removal

KW - GHG photocatalysis

KW - giant photocatalytic reactor

KW - large scale atmospheric air cleansing

KW - negative emissions technology

KW - solar chimney power plant

KW - solar-wind hybrid

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85010416802&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.pecs.2017.01.001

DO - 10.1016/j.pecs.2017.01.001

M3 - Review article

VL - 60

SP - 68

EP - 96

ER -

de Richter R, Ming T, Davies P, Liu W, Caillol S. Removal of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by large-scale atmospheric solar photocatalysis. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. 2017 May;60:68-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2017.01.001