Global warming is the unusually gradual increase Earth’s surface, oceans and atmosphere. Scientists have recorded the rise in average temperatures global since the late 1800s. But this recent research may provide a substantial solution to this horrible effect.
In a recent research conducted by scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee revealed an electrochemical process to turn CO2, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. This process uses small spikes of carbon and copper to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol.
The researchers were able to achieve this by using nanotechnology-based catalyst which contains chain reaction sites. The solution of CO2 evanesced with water and turned into ethanol with composition of about 63 percent, and a mixture of other different substances in small amounts.
“We are taking carbon dioxide, a waste product of combustion, and we’re pushing that combustion reaction backwards with very high selectivity to a useful fuel,” Rondinone claimed “Ethanol was a surprise; it’s extremely difficult to go straight from carbon dioxide to ethanol with a single catalyst
“They are like 50-nanometer lightning rods that concentrate electrochemical reactivity at the tip of the spike,” Rondinone said.
“We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said ORNL’s Adam Rondinone, lead author of the team’s study published in Chemistry Select. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.”
The low-cost material and knack for this process to work well at room temperature in water, has made these scientists believe the process could be expanded for industrially relevant applications. For example, this approach could be utilized to store excess electricity generated from different power sources such as wind and solar.
“A process like this would allow you to consume extra electricity when it’s available to make and store as ethanol,” Rondinone said. “This could help to balance a grid supplied by fluctuating renewable sources.”
The researchers plan to research further to increase the efficiency of the overall production. Who knows this maybe be large-scale carbon capture using this approach in the foreseeable future.
Source :Oak Ridge National Laboratory