Discovery: C02 Can Be Turned Into Ethanol Using Common Materials

220px-oak_ridge_national_laboratory_logo-svgIn a discovery that should have been the lead story on most networks this week, scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered an incredible chemical reaction that not only turns CO2 into ethanol but does so with few contaminants and using common materials. It could prove a critical means for combatting climate change. For those who resist new pollution curbs, this type of technology is the type of advance that should warrant bipartisan support.

The discovery of chemical reactions that could turn CO2 into a useful fuel is a huge development. The resulting ethanol could be used to power generators and vehicles. The discovery was unexpected and uses a new combination of copper and carbon arranged into nanospikes on a silicon surface. Even better, this can be done at room temperature.

So once again, why has this not generated more attention? It would seem precisely the type of technological effort that will have to be part of a comprehensive approach to climate change. This obviously will not be a golden bullet and is in the early stages of research. However, it is a promising development in what will have to be a myriad of approaches in the area.

Source: Popular Mechanics

61 thoughts on “Discovery: C02 Can Be Turned Into Ethanol Using Common Materials

  1. Gary, yes, that was my first thought. We can make a synthetic fuel but the energy to do so is more than the energy produced otherwise, we would be doing this already. This basic idea is one of my arguments with solar cells. I’ve never seen anyone say if a solar cell can produce more electricity than it takes to manufacture itself.

  2. Just FWIW, I do believe that the Oil Industry and Electric Company’s have been sitting on Miracle Technology that permits the wireless transmission of electricity! This video from like the 1950’s show a band playing electric guitars without any cables to the amps, or radio devices attached to their guitars! I have seen the same thing on other old videos. There is a conspiracy to keep this technology from the public!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    • That’s freaking hilarious. To bad Dick Clark didn’t have access to the same technology since his mic still had a cord. Rebel flags and NRRA in the corner. I wonder what the extra R was for?

    • It’s also amazing that they have no amplifiers!! Hmmm…could they be playing to a pre-recorded track? Nah. Solar cells now produce much more power than their total cost including transportation. Nano tech? Reeellly pricey for one of those clean temp. controlled labs all for one lousy petri dish. Pretty cheap to do in space with a perfect vacuum and zero gravity. Still – energy in vs. energy out.

      • Didn’t watch the video ( low bandwith capabilities for now).
        Duane Eddy had (has) a unique sound. You could tell it was a Duane Eddy song within seconds, just as The Ventures’ songs could be identified right off the bat.
        To get the right “reverberation sound” he was looking for, Duane Eddy and his producer recorded a song with the “high-tech use” of a c. 2,000 gallon water tank.
        A mic was placed at one end of the tank, and a speaker or speakers at the other end.
        I think different methods are used today over the “tank method” of the late 50s and early 60s.

  3. Patience. There is a long path from the laboratory to actual deployment. Most of these laboratory curiosities never make it.

    • Hmm, that was not meant to be demeaning but sure looks it. My bad and apology.

      Nevertheless, and I may well be thinking of another magazine, Popular Mechanics has not always been stellar in their vetting process of such things as miracle metals, perpetual motion devices, and so on.

      But indeed, the article itself seems straight forward, and the findings were published in the journal ChemistrySelect.

  4. Cited article includes this conclusion..

    “The overpotential (which might be lowered with the proper electrolyte, and by separating the hydrogen production to another catalyst) probably precludes economic viability for this catalyst,

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