Scientists Recycle Carbon Dioxide To Create Usable Fuel

Posted: Aug 2 2016, 10:09pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Scientists Recycle Carbon Dioxide to Create Usable Fuel
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Don't Miss: This How to find Fingerlings in Stock

Taking a cue from the mechanism that trees use to convert carbon dioxide into sugars, researchers have found a similar way to turn the gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and car engines into a usable energy source using sunlight.

As scientists and policymakers around the world try to combat the increasing rate of climate change, they have focused on the chief culprit -- carbon dioxide.

"In photosynthesis, trees need energy from light, water and carbon dioxide in order to make their fuel; in our experiment, the ingredients are the same, but the product is different," said one of the study authors Larry Curtiss from US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

While plants use their catalysts to make sugar, the researchers used theirs to convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide.

Although carbon monoxide is also a greenhouse gas, it is much more reactive than carbon dioxide and scientists already have ways of converting carbon monoxide into usable fuel, such as methanol.

Although the reaction to transform carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide is different from anything found in nature, it requires the same basic inputs as photosynthesis, showed the study published in the journal Science.

One of the chief challenges of sequestering carbon dioxide is that it is relatively chemically unreactive.

"On its own, it is quite difficult to convert carbon dioxide into something else," Curtiss said.

To make carbon dioxide into something that could be a usable fuel, Curtiss and his colleagues from University of Illinois at Chicago needed to find a catalyst - a particular compound that could make carbon dioxide react more readily.

When converting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into a sugar, plants use an organic catalyst called an enzyme.

The researchers used a metal compound called tungsten diselenide, which they fashioned into nano-sized flakes to maximize the surface area and to expose its reactive edges and ultimately create carbon monoxide.

Holiday Gift Guides and Deals

Get your Holiday gifting inspired by Best Toy Gifts with High STEM Value and the Top 10 toy gifts under $10 if you are on budget. The most popular Holiday 2017 toy list include Fingerlings, Crate Creatures and more. Don't miss the new Holiday deals on Amazon Devices, including $29.99 Fire tablet.

This story may contain affiliate links.

This free App Solves You Holiday Shopping Problem


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Fingerling, Luvabella, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/59" rel="author">IANS</a>
The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) was established in 1986, initially to serve as an information bridge between India and its thriving Diaspora in North America. Now IANS is a full-fledged wire agency, putting out news 24x7 from around the world.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus