What if, scientist know to turn carbon dioxide into fuel?
In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have found a similar way to convert carbon dioxide into a usable energy source using sunlight.
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," said Argonne chemist Larry Curtiss, an author of the study.
To make carbon dioxide into something that could be a usable fuel, Curtiss and his colleagues 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 nanosized flakes to maximize the surface area and to expose its reactive edges.
720 day(s) ago