Researchers can now convert CO2 from the air directly into methanol fuel
For the first time, researchers have shown that they can capture CO2 from the air, and convert it directly into methanol, which can then be used as an alternative fuel, as well as for hydrogen storage, in fuel cells, or as a building block for plastic.
That’s exciting, because it means that not only do we have one more reason to suck CO2 out of our atmosphere, but it can now very easily be recycled into something useful. “Direct CO2 capture and conversion to methanol using molecular hydrogen in the same pot was never achieved before,” lead researcher G. K. Surya Prakash, from the University of Southern California, told Phys.org. “We have now done it!”
The creation of methanol (CH3OH) from CO2 and hydrogen in itself is nothing new. But what’s cool about this research is the team has identified a catalyst that speeds up the reaction and makes it a whole lot easier.