Scientists Accidentally Converts Carbon Dioxide Directly Into Ethanol

Posted: Oct 19 2016, 12:09pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Scientists Accidentally Converts Carbon Dioxide Directly Into Ethanol
ORNL researchers developed a catalyst made of copper nanoparticles (seen as spheres) embedded in carbon nanospikes that can convert carbon dioxide into ethanol.
  • Scientists find carbon dioxide can be easily turned into ethanol
 

A simple one step process involving nano spike catalysts can turn carbon dioxide directly into ethanol

Science is unexpected to say the least. All throughout history scientists have made amazing discoveries while trying to find something else. The same seems to have happened here.

While science considered the process of turning the gas carbon dioxide to ethanol may be a very complicated process, the opposite seems to be true.

Carbon dioxide can be easily turned into ethanol through a simple one step process. Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have done the impossible. One Monday they discovered that carbon dioxide can be directly into ethanol using only a single catalyst.

The research team was already trying to find a way to convert CO2 into ethanol. But what they did not expect was how simple the process would be.

The researchers thought the process would involve several steps and multiple catalysts. However all they need is a single catalyst; nano spikes.

All the team required were an array of tiny nano scale copper along with some carbon spikes which were then mounted on a silicone surface.  When carbon dioxide was exposed to this catalyst a combustion process occurred which converted the gas into liquid form. 

Even better news is the small size of the catalyst, which means there are no side reactions and the ethanol produced is largely of the pure quality. Similarly the entire process of conversion can take place at room temperature.

In short a very sophisticated process can be carried out very easily. One very important use of this process is in the field of utility scale batteries. The carbon dioxide produced from burning the ethanol could again be converted back into the fuel ethanol. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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