Researchers from Argonne national laboratory US Department of energy, together with colleagues from Northern Illinois University opened a new and useful catalyst. It literally turns water into alcohol or ethanol. You need only an electric current of small voltage and carbon dioxide – the carbon dioxide that pollutes the atmosphere.
The substance belongs to the category of electrocatalysts, it consists of atomically dispersed copper in the carbon powder, and aktiviziruyutsya in an electric field. If you skip through the catalyst at the same time the water and carbon dioxide, their molecules will be destroyed. The freed atoms of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen with the selective probability of 90% going to the ethanol molecule. According to scientists, such a performance before to achieve was not possible.
Ethanol, which is obtained as a result of the reaction, can be used as fuel or additive to it. Either apply as a familiar raw material in industry and chemical industry. If the carbon dioxide captured directly to take industrial filters air emissions, and energy to start the process to obtain from renewable sources, the only bottleneck of the reaction will be water. But it can be obtained, for example, by clearing drains, and then conditional the company will be able to provide themselves with ethanol and nothing to throw away in the environment.