Scientists have created an “artificial leaf” to fight climate change by inexpensively converting harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) into a useful alternative fuel.
The new technology, outlined in a paper published today in the journal Nature Energy, was inspired by the way plants use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into food.
“We call it an artificial leaf because it mimics real leaves and the process of photosynthesis,” said Yimin Wu, an engineering professor at the University of Waterloo who led the research. “A leaf produces glucose and oxygen. We produce methanol and oxygen.”
Making methanol from carbon dioxide, the primary contributor to global warming, would both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a substitute for the fossil fuels that create them.
The key to the process is a cheap, optimized red powder called cuprous oxide.
Engineered to have as many eight-sided particles as possible, the powder is created by a chemical reaction when four substances – glucose, copper acetate, sodium hydroxide and sodium dodecyl sulfate – are added to water that has been heated to a particular temperature.
The powder then serves as the catalyst, or trigger, for another chemical reaction when it is mixed with water into which carbon dioxide is blown and a beam of white light is directed with a solar simulator.
“This is the chemical reaction that we discovered,” said Wu, who has worked on the project since 2015. “Nobody has done this before.”
The reaction produces oxygen, as in photosynthesis, while also converting carbon dioxide in the water-powder solution into methanol. The methanol is collected as it evaporates when the solution is heated.
An hour-long chemical reaction creates the engineered red powder that is the key to new technology to turn carbon dioxide into fuel.
Next steps in the research include increasing the methanol yield and commercializing the patented process to convert carbon dioxide collected from major greenhouse gas sources such as power plants, vehicles and oil drilling.
“I’m extremely excited about the potential of this discovery to change the game,” said Wu, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and a member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. “Climate change is an urgent problem and we can help reduce CO2 emissions while also creating an alternative fuel.”
Wu collaborated on the paper, Facet-dependent active sites of a single Cu2O particle photocatalyst for CO2 reduction to methanol, with Tijana Rajh and other researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, as well as scientists at California State University, Northridge, and the City University of Hong Kong.
The Latest on: Carbon dioxide to fuel
[google_news title=”” keyword=”carbon dioxide to fuel” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Carbon dioxide to fuel
- Fertilizer Companies Are Betting on Ammonia as a Low-Carbon Fuelon November 28, 2023 at 10:59 am
While plants benefit from the nitrogen portion of ammonia, the clean-fuel industry is interested in its hydrogen content. Hydrogen, one of the world’s most common elements, can burn like oil, gas or ...
- Gloomy businesses urge COP28 to act on carbon price, fossil fuel subsidieson November 27, 2023 at 11:02 pm
Businesses say more ambitious policies are needed urgently to drive the transition to clean energy, including an end to fossil fuel subsidies and agreement on a global carbon price, as climate talks ...
- Australia to produce ‘carbon-neutral car fuel by 2028’on November 27, 2023 at 8:56 pm
Australian forestry management company Forico and US-based energy giant HIF Global have announced an agreement to create Australia’s first plant for carbon-neutral fuel for vehicles. HIF Global plans ...
- Australia to produce carbon-neutral fuels for first time in 2028on November 27, 2023 at 8:00 pm
United States-based energy giant HIF Global and Australian forestry management company Forico on Tuesday announced an agreement to create Australia’s first plant to produce carbon-neutral fuels ...
- Virgin pilots first transatlantic flight with low-carbon fuelon November 27, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Also, they are used in combustion engines that still generate carbon dioxide. The UK government announced last ... there are 100,000 daily flights using fossil fuels," said Magdalena Heuwieser, from ...
- Research examines ability of concrete to capture carbon dioxideon November 27, 2023 at 2:45 pm
Researchers have developed a method to confirm whether carbon in concrete originates from its raw materials, or from carbon in the air.
- What is biomass? The latest fuel source to get clean tech tax creditson November 27, 2023 at 9:08 am
Canada plans on expanding its clean technology and electricity tax credits to biomass fuel, which is most commonly made from waste from lumber operations.
- 'Regressive' carbon capture tax credit open to projects that extract more oil, climate experts sayon November 26, 2023 at 1:46 pm
The federal government's proposed tax credit to incentivize companies to capture and store carbon dioxide underground doesn't exclude projects that also involve extracting more oil, policy experts who ...
- Green hydrogen, CO2 used to produce e-fuel for hard-to-electrify vehicleson November 26, 2023 at 6:27 am
A new e-fuel was tested for in Finland on a diesel-powered tractor at AGCO Power's Linnavuori factory in Nokia.
- OXCCU awarded funding to transform carbon dioxide into sustainable aviation fuelon November 22, 2023 at 7:04 pm
Oxford-based OXCCU, the carbon-to-value company that converts carbon dioxide and hydrogen into industrial and consumer products, has won a £2.8 million government grant along with the University ...
via Bing News