Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have found a substance response to turn CO2 into ethanol, possible creating a new technology to help avert climate change. Their discoveries were distributed in the diary ChemistrySelect.
The scientists were endeavoring to discover a progression of chemical reactions that could turn CO2 into a helpful fuel, when they completed the first step in their procedure carried off to do it all by itself. The reaction turns CO2 into ethanol, which could thusly be utilized to power generators and vehicles.
The tech includes another blend of copper and carbon orchestrated into nanospikes on a silicon surface. The nanotechnology permits the reactions to be very precise, with not very many contaminants.
“By utilizing basic materials, but orchestrating them with nanotechnology, we made sense of how to constrain the side reactions and wind up with the one thing that we need,” said Adam Rondinone.
This process has several advantages when compared to other methods of converting CO2 into fuel. The reaction uses common materials like copper and carbon, and it converts the CO2 into ethanol, which is already widely used as a fuel.
Perhaps most importantly, it works at room temperature, which means that it can be started and stopped easily and with little energy cost. This means that this conversion process could be used as temporary energy storage during a lull in renewable energy generation, smoothing out fluctuations in a renewable energy grid.
“A procedure like this would permit you to devour extra electricity when it’s available to make and store as ethanol,” said Rondinone. “This could help to balance a grid supplied by intermittent renewable sources.”
The researchers plan to further study this process and try and make it more efficient. If they’re successful, we just might see large-scale carbon capture using this technique in the near future.