But if we can turn CO2 into a fuel source, we can at least slow things down a bit, and now researchers have developed a process that can achieve this with a single catalyst.
“We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said one of the team, Adam Rondinone, from the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realised that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.”
Rondinone and his colleagues had put together a catalyst using carbon, copper, and nitrogen, by embedding copper nanoparticles into nitrogen-laced carbon spikes measuring just 50-80 nanometres tall. (1 nanometre = one-millionth of a millimetre.)
When they applied an electric current of just 1.2 volts, the catalyst converted a solution of CO2 dissolved in water into ethanol, with a yield of 63 percent.
This results have been published in The results have been published in ChemistrySelect.
You can read the full article originally published at Sciencealert.com here.