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Friday, February 23, 2018

Physicists have found a new way to make alcohol out of thin air

A group of American scientists under the leadership of Adam Rondinone of the National laboratory in Oak ridge announced the creation of a nanomaterial, allowing to obtain from the air the alcohol. As experts explain, they have created a “nano-needle” of graphene and copper that work as a catalyst, turning carbon dioxide into ethanol. To start the reaction requires only an electric current.

photo: pixabay.com

According to scientists, the most valuable properties of their own material they learned polyleucine — it was not originally envisaged that the catalyst designed to launch the first stage of the reaction, is able to implement it fully without the participation of the people. Physicists say that a “nano-needle” represent something like a “lightning rods” with a size of about 50 nanometers, concentrating electricity on the tops of their “spikes”.

In fact, with the help of the developed catalyst, the scientists start the process opposite to the combustion. Using nanotechnology, the material will turn water with dissolved carbon dioxide to methanol by 63 percent. According to the researchers, it allows you to convert to convert air-polluting combustion product into a valuable fuel, and to do it in one step, which in itself is a considerable achievement.

The specialists underline that their development requires very inexpensive components and capable of operating at room temperature. All this speaks in favor of the fact that, in the long term nanomaterials could be many practical uses.

Their study, the researchers reported in the journal ChemistrySelect.

We will remind, some time ago, an alternative way pretty quickly to get the alcohol out of the air invited biologists from Harvard University. They brought the bacterium is able to convert airborne carbon dioxide and hydrogen in the alcohol-containing substances. During the day these organisms is capable of processing 500 times more carbon dioxide than is their own mass, and each 237 kilograms of gas processed in this way will allow you to produce a kilowatt-hour of energy.


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