A new process could be a way to reduce greenhouse gas… and turn that gas into fuel for your car.
This story from Reuters says scientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore are using non-toxic organocatalysts to make carbon dioxide into ethanol:
In a statement, the institute said the team, led by Yugen Zhang, used N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), an organocatalyst in the chemical reaction with carbon dioxide. NHCs are stable and the reaction between NHCs and carbon dioxide can take place under mild conditions in dry air, the statement said, adding only a small amount of the catalyst was needed.
The process also used hydrosilane, a combination of silica and hydrogen. “Hydrosilane provides hydrogen, which bonds with carbon dioxide in a reduction reaction. This carbon dioxide reduction is efficiently catalyzed by NHCs even at room temperature,” Zhang said in the statement.
“Methanol can be easily obtained from the product of the carbon dioxide reaction,” Zhang added.
The team says this process is much more efficient than previous attempts to make CO2 into a more useful product.