Almost every segment of this planet is dedicating its resources and energies to bring down the ill-effects of climate change and carbon dioxide has taken a core position in all those efforts. It was detected last year, that carbon dioxide has reached a maximum of 400 parts per million in last four million years. Simultaneously, there is a large chunk of population across the world that is still facing huge energy crisis. Therefore, our world is suffering from double crisis, an excess of carbon dioxide on one hand and too less energy on the other.
The two issues were recently addressed by a team of researchers by discovering a project that turns carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide that can further be used in production of different chemical products like methanol and other fuels. To pursue this aim, the team made use of golden nanoneedles as catalyst, tips of these needles are approx. 10, 000 times smaller as compared to human hair strand. When an electrical bias is applied over an array of nanoneedles a high electric field is gained as a result. The field lures in carbon dioxide and paces up its reduction into carbon monoxide. Out of all, this catalyst has worked at a much faster rate.
A researcher hailing from University of Toronto, Yanjie Pang, adds, “If we take CO2 from industrial flue emissions or from the atmosphere, and use it as a reagent for fuels, which provide long-term storage for green energy, we’re killing two birds with one stone.” The enhanced rate attained by these golden nanoneedle catalyst hints at better efficiency and selectivity, bringing application of carbon dioxide a step close to commercial electrolysers deployment. This discovery is expected to play a huge role in development of storage systems as well that will offer a better option for energy based technologies.
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