Turning Carbon Dioxide into Petrol – Carbon Capture – Horizons
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a nanomaterial with an organometallic structure that can absorb carbon dioxide and hydrogen from the air, creating useful chemicals from them..
Currently, there is no cost-effective and energy-efficient way to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then convert it into useful carbon-containing compounds. However, American scientists have come close to solving this problem. They created an organometallic (MOF) nanomaterial that extracts CO2 from the air and interacts with hydrogen molecules to form a chemical precursor to methanol – formic acid.
Under normal conditions, such a reaction requires overcoming the energy threshold, but the invention of scientists acts as a catalyst. The nanomaterial bends the geometric structure of the carbon dioxide molecule, thereby facilitating interaction with hydrogen. In fact, the MOF scaffold activates CO2 and lowers the energy barrier.
In the image: a diagram of the catalytic units of the nanomaterial and the reaction of the conversion of carbon dioxide into formic acid. CO2 (red and gray), N2 (blue) and H2 (white).
The team believes that by further improving the product, they will be able to reduce the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, while converting them into fuel or other useful chemical compounds. They plan to create special filters for the chimneys of industrial plants and power plants so that the technology can bring real benefits..
An equally useful invention was presented by researchers from the University of Zurich, who have developed a new type of nanoparticles for use in artificial photosynthesis, which are capable of producing pure hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight..
text: Sid Nietzsche, photo: Swanson School of Engineering / Johnson Group, idaten