Power to fuels. Non-equilibrium plasmas for the conversion of CO2 in liquid fuels by using renewable energy

Principal investigator: Paolo Tosi


Solar and wind sources fluctuate in time, and can create mismatches between supply and demand, posing problems to their direct integration in the power grid. An optionts for solving this problem is energy storage. A promising storage option is Power-to-Fuels, which uses renewable electricity to produce gaseous or liquid fuels that can be easily integrated into the existing distribution infrastructure to replace fossil fuels. Furthermore, these fuels can be carbon-neutral if the source of carbon is CO2. We are developing a plasma technology for the transformation of renewable electric energy into chemical energy by converting CO2 into liquid fuels. By exploiting the non-equilibrium typical of the nanosecond electrical discharges, and using CH4 and CO2 as reagents, we have achieved energy conversion efficiencies higher than 40%, an already interesting value for concrete applications.



M. Scapinello, L.M. Martini, G. Dilecce, P. Tosi "Conversion of CH4/CO2 by a Nanosecond Repetitively Pulsed Discharge" Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics49, 075602 (2016).

Luca Matteo Martini, Nicola Gatti, Giorgio Dilecce, Mario Scotoni, Paolo Tosi "Laser induced fluorescence in nanosecond repetitively pulsed discharges for CO2conversion" Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 60, 014016 (2018).



Atomic & Molecular Physics

Power to fuels 1

Power to fuels 2