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Scientists Converts Carbon Dioxide into Fuel

Carbon dioxide is the main cause for increasing the rate of climate change. Scientists and policy makers around the world are trying to combat this rate.

Burning of fossil fuels in plants and car engines produces carbon dioxide. This gets accumulated in the atmosphere and in turn warms the planet. However, trees and plants gradually confine carbon dioxide from the environment and convert it into sugars that stores energy.

Researchers from the University of Chicago have found a same mode to convert carbon dioxide into a usable energy using sunlight. The researchers wanted a catalyst to create carbon dioxide into a usable fuel.  Catalyst is a compound that can help carbon dioxide react rapidly.

Plants use enzyme as catalyst to convert carbon dioxide into sugar. The researchers used a metal compound known as tungsten diselenide which was shaped into nanosized flakes to maximize the surface area and to expose its reactive boundaries.

According to the study, the researchers used their enzyme to make carbon monoxide from carbon dioxide. Even though carbon monoxide is a greenhouse gas, scientists have a method of converting it into usable fuel like methanol.

The team was able to create an “artificial leaf” that could complete the entire reaction pathway. The study also explained that the reaction happens with minimal energy being lost. The catalyst is also very durable which can last for more than 100 hours.