It’s a brand new day in the fight against CO2 emission. Researching staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have found a process that can turn our abundance of CO2 into Ethanol. The process is cheap and yields relatively clean burning, renewable fuel:
This process has several advantages when compared to other methods of converting CO2 into fuel. The reaction uses common materials like copper and carbon, and it converts the CO2 into ethanol, which is already widely used as a fuel. Perhaps most importantly, it works at room temperature, which means that it can be started and stopped easily and with little energy cost. This means that this conversion process could be used as temporary energy storage during a lull in renewable energy generation, smoothing out fluctuations in a renewable energy grid. “A process like this would allow you to consume extra electricity when it’s available to make and store as ethanol,” said Rondinone. “This could help to balance a grid supplied by intermittent renewable sources.”
This could potentially make energy dependencies a thing of the past, and we couldn’t be more excited. Cheers to the scientists from Tennessee who made our day. The future burns a little brighter.