Carbondioxide produces more waste than anything else. As a result, researchersat the American Chemical Society have discovered two new ways to convert this into”energy-rich byproducts”. To recycle carbon dioxide, researchers copy theprocess of photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates. These reactors must run offtemperatures as high as 1000 degrees.
Since it is difficult to reach thosetemperatures, most researchers perform these same reactions at room temperatureand use catalysts. The first thing to do is to convert Carbon dioxide to CO. Todo this, scientists use two catalysts that separate Carbon dioxide, yielding COand water. To perform the reaction, it only takes 1.33 volts of electricitywhich is less than a double A battery, to speed up the reaction. In 2011, a groupof researchers that was guided by Richard Masel “CEO of Dioxide Materials inBoca Raton, Florida” constructed an experiment with iridium oxide and silvercatalysts with liquid electrolytes.
The electrolyte is used to form a defensivecoating around silver. The benefit from this process is that it only needs 0.17volts. The bad thing was that is it very expensive to produce. Despite theflaws, the membranes were reported as successful. Chemist Richard NI statedthat using these membranes produced CO more efficiently and double the ratecompared to those without them. On top of that, the devices used for itremained undeteriorated even after 6 months.
Other scientists decided toimprove this experiment as well. “Fan Shi, who is a chemist at the NationalEnergy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania” had the idea of makingmethanol fuel with a similar approach. He later came up with a “synthetic dieselfuel from Carbon dioxide and water with a high temperature process called bluecrude”.
Through thorough experiments, scientists are determined to explore and collectpure CO2 in streams and renewable power to satisfy energy needs intimes of low demand.