January 1, 2010.
As fossil fuels become increasingly depleted, the development of clean energy sources increasingly becomes more important. Both titanium(IV) oxide and tungsten(VI) oxide nanowires have been shown to harness the electromagnetic waves given off by the sun to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen gas; using the UV and visible spectrum, respectively. Investing in this principle, we have designed a novel device that converts carbon dioxide and water vapor into methane in a cost effective manner. The device uses a composite of the two complementary nanowires in order to obtain broader solar absorption. This was done by first synthesizing the needed self-assembling TiO2 and WO3 nanowires. A thin layer of the nanowires was then applied to silk worm silk; a substrate that gases can pass through. Finally, photoelectric tests were run to determine the efficiency of the device.
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)