Beacon Transcript – Scientists have made a chance discovery that may just change our Earth’s future as they managed to turn carbon dioxide into a renewable energy material.
The problem of the global warming generated by the greenhouse effect has quite stopped being a supposition and has instead turned into a reality.
As the planet’s average temperature seems to be constantly raising, the results of the climate change are being felt all over the world with more storms, fires, floods, and droughts manifesting in previously unaffected locations.
As such, it would seem quite surprising that carbon dioxide, the principal gas responsible for the greenhouse effect, may offer a solution to the pollution levels problem.
The discovery was made somewhat by accident back in 2014 when a team of scientists was trying to study and establish the first steps of a reaction.
As the team of scientists from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Department of Energy has repeated the experiment, their final study results were published last month in the Chemistry Select journal.
Ever since they first stumbled upon it, the scientists have repeated the experiment multiple times so as to test the process of turning carbon dioxide into ethanol.
They reaction was obtained when the team was searching for a catalyst that would help the reaction, but instead, they noticed that the said elements were producing the transformation all on their own.
The tested catalyst and actual cause of the reaction was based on carbon, copper, and nitrogen. Copper nanoparticles were embedded into spikes of carbon that had been previously enhanced with nitrogen.
The following mix was then charged with an electric current of 1.2 volts. The end product was an amount of ethanol as generated by a combination of water and carbon dioxide.
Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is one if the elements used in the production process of our most common fuel, as a number in the billions mark is used every year in the U.S. alone in order to produce gasoline.
Although the team declared that the transformation is a difficult process, they are hopeful that it could possibly transcend towards an industrial scale usage.
This would imply that the same product which has until now been the waste resulted from combustion, could now be transformed and come to fuel the process in a somewhat bizarre recycling cycle.
As the results of the carbon dioxide procedure are being further tested and the reaction’s behavior is still being analyzed, it could nonetheless come to mark a breakthrough both in terms of pollution reduction and also in the renewable energy resources area.
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