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Biomimetic CO2 to Fuel Enabled by Scalable Catalyst Development and Synthetic Electrochemistry

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: ARPA-E
Contract: DE-AR0001800
Agency Tracking Number: 2785-1571
Amount: $295,343.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002785
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-09-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-09-30
Small Business Information
4788 Runway Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Unavailable
Principal Investigator
 Bing  Tan
 (734) 930-9292
Business Contact
 Jeffery Lachapelle
Phone: (734) 930-0766
Research Institution

Biomimetic CO2 to Fuel Enabled by Scalable Catalyst Development and Synthetic Electrochemistry Methane is a primary source of national energy, often in the form of liquid natural gas (LNG), accounting for up to 30% of all energy produced in the United States. Further, LNG boasts a number of benefits over other chemical energy storage methods: it has a higher volumetric energy density than alternative chemical energy storage media (e.g. hydrogen, ammonia), infrastructure already exists for easy utilization in many industries (unlike hydrogen or ammonia), it is easier to transport and ship than alternative chemical stores of energy, and has lower emissions that conventional energy sources like coal. However, the primary drawback of LNG is that it can be expensive to produce, with a large carbon footprint, and is technically challenging to prevent leaks of this potent greenhouse gas when extracted naturally. Synthetic methane is especially of greater value as the US transitions to a less fossil fuel-dependent economy, and sustainable synthetic production routes would thus have a significant impact on ARPA-E Mission Goals of reducing energy related emissions, increasing energy efficiency, as well as possibly reducing US dependence on foreign energy sources. PIDC and JHU APL will work together to develop a revolutionary, low-cost, and scalable catalyst to produce methane from carbon dioxide by designing a new catalyst based on the natural biomimetic process for the CO2 reduction into CH4. It the catalyst is successfully developed, the methane production will be, low-cost, renewable, and has zero-emission of greenhouse gas. It will help US be independent of foreign energy sources.

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