Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that is colourless, odourless, and tasteless. It is toxic to both invertebrate and vertebrate, including humans when encountered in a big quantity; although, it has also some good features. It is present in the atmosphere, having a short life. Researchers have developed the technique to know how electro-catalysts can convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using only water and electricity.
The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to fuels is a subject of greater interest of researchers because it shows a way for storing electricity from natural energy resources. A multi-scale model that unites a quantum-chemical analysis of reaction pathway; and a continuum model for transport of species in the electrolyte have been developed. The model is to learn how carbon dioxide can be electrochemically reduced through a catalyst, using silver, and converted into carbon monoxide. It is needed by the scientists to first get the electronic and quantum levels, which is a challenging task in the presence of an electric field.
As carbon monoxide and hydrogen are product gases and are insoluble in aqueous electrolytes, they can be separated as synthesis gas very easily and converted into fuels such as methanol, dimethyl ether, or as a mixture of hydrocarbons. Gold and silver reflects the highest activity towards CO2 reduction, and silver being cheaper and abundant than gold, it is the more promising electro-catalyst for large-scale production of carbon monoxide.
By: Anita Aishvarya