Scientists claim they have found a solution to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuel. The technology used in this process mimics nature, and it doesn’t cost too much to announce the researchers. The innovative artificial leaf uses the photosynthesis to break down CO2.
Carbon dioxide has a negative influence on the planet’s atmosphere. The destructive element is the main culprit responsible for erratic weather patterns and climate shifts. The scale of the fires is blamed on the lack of water and drought to fight fires because of the recent weather shifts, although arson is the initial cause of the fire.
Scientists believe that the leaf could be a significant weapon to fight against global warming. Cuprous oxide is a red powder that helps the process of photosynthesis. This powder helps the artificial leaf to transform CO2 into oxygen and methanol. Once the solution evaporates, this is then used as a fuel.
The engineering professor Yiming Wu who is the lead researcher published his paper in Nature Energy, and then he explained the process to Canadian Press. He hopes the commercial industry to pick up this technology.
He also believes that many years will pass before they commercialize the artificial leaf. However, he is optimistic that many large companies (oil, automobile, and steel companies) will use the leaf to reduce their carbon emissions, as he explained in an interview with the Independent.
“I am excited about this discovery. Climate change is a global problem, and with the artificial leaf, we will reduce the CO2 emissions while creating an alternative fuel. We hope to increase the amount of ethanol produced by the process”.
Throughout these years, many scientists tried to develop technology for converting carbon emissions into reusable fuels. All these discoveries will help to reduce these harmful emissions that are responsible for climate change.
In 2017 researchers at Harvard University conducted a similar development.
Before a month ago, scientists from Cambridge University have developed an artificial leaf that can produce syngas during photosynthesis. The device contains two light absorbers that are made of Cobalt catalysts and perovskite. When they are put inside water, one side produces oxygen, and the other reduced carbon dioxide and water into carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Then those two gases can be combined and produce syngas.
This leaf can work even on cloudy and rainy days when the light is shallow. The perovskite absorbs light and creates a voltage while the Cobalt in the catalyst is more efficient at creating carbon monoxide, and it costs low.
The new design is used to create useful products such as electricity, fertilizers, hydrogen, and drugs.
“We hope we will be able to skip the middleman syngas stage and make the liquid fuel in one step from carbon dioxide and water,” says Reinser, the senior author of the study.
“This design produces 0.02 percent of carbon monoxide and 0.06 percent of hydrogen, which is still quite low. ” We believe we can increase the production because there is a major demand for heavy power transport,” added Reinser.