In October, Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced that scientists had developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol.
This month, Oak Ridge Today asked if the process using the very small catalysts could be used on a large scale to convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into ethanol, and if that might be used to combat climate change.
Here is the response from researcher Adam Rondinone, lead author of a team’s study published in ChemistrySelect:
“If we are successful, then yes, this process will take us a little bit closer to the goal of mitigating climate change. But many other technologies and changes will also be needed, because of the scale of the problem. Also, this technology is more focused on what to do with CO2 (carbon dioxide) once it has been captured. While it could feasibly be coupled to a capture mechanism for extracting CO2 from the air, it will more likely be used to intercept and recycle emissions from point sources like power plants. Ultimately, it will just be one solution out of many that we will need to implement in order to prevent serious climate changes.” [Read more…]