Feasibility of Solar Updraft Towers as Photocatalytic Reactors for Removal of Atmospheric Methane–The Role of Catalysts and Rate Limiting Steps


Due to the alarming speed of global warming, greenhouse gas removal from atmosphere will be absolutely necessary in the coming decades. Methane is the second most harmful greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. There is an emerging technology proposed to incorporating photocatalysis with solar updraft Towers (SUT) to remove methane from the air at a planetary scale. In this study, we present a deep analysis by calculating the potential of methane removal in relation to the dimensions and configuration of SUT using different photocatalysts. The analysis shows that the methane removal rate increases with the SUT dimensions and can be enhanced by changing the configuration design. More importantly, the low methane removal rate on conventional TiO2 photocatalyst can be significantly improved to, for example, 42.5% on a more effective Ag-doped ZnO photocatalyst in a 200 MW SUT while the photocatalytic reaction is the rate limiting step. The factors that may further affect the removal of methane, such as more efficient photocatalysts, night operation and reaction zone are discussed as possible solutions to further improve the system.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2021.745347
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
Additional Information: Copyright © 2021 Huang, Shao, Bai, Yuan, Ming, Davies, Lu, de Richter and Li. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chemistry,solar updraft,photocatalysis,non-CO2 greenhouse gases,methane,climate change
Publication ISSN: 2296-2646
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 16:02
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2021 08:08
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.fro ... 021.745347/full (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-09-10
Accepted Date: 2021-08-25
Submitted Date: 2021-07-21
Authors: Huang, Yanfang
Shao, Yimin
Bai, Yang
Yuan, Qingchun (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5982-3819)
Ming, Tingzhen
Davies, Philip
Lu, Xiaohua
de Richter, Renaud
Li, Wei



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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