[ExI] Scientists Just Created a Catalyst That Turns CO2 Into Jet Fuel
possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 4 05:06:03 UTC 2021
An amazing development for the protection of the environment! : )
"For years now, chemists have been trying to apply this idea to one of the
most environmentally damaging sectors of our economy: the aviation
industry. Not only do planes emit huge amounts of CO2, they also pump other
greenhouse gases like nitrogen oxide directly into the upper atmosphere,
where their warming effect is greatly increased.
The fossil fuels they burn to create all these emissions are hydrocarbons,
which means they are made up of a combination of carbon and hydrogen.
That’s led some to suggest it might be possible to create synthetic
versions of these fuels by capturing the CO2 planes produce and combining
it with hydrogen extracted with water.
If the energy <https://singularityhub.com/tag/energy/> used to power these
reactions came from renewable sources, their production wouldn’t lead to
any increase in emissions. And when these fuels were burned they would
simply be returning CO2 captured from the atmosphere, making the fuel
effectively carbon neutral.
It’s a nice idea, but the process of turning CO2 into useful fuels is more
complex than it might sound. Most efforts so far have required expensive
catalysts—substances that boost the speed of a chemical reaction—or
multiple energy-intensive processing steps, which means the resulting fuel
is far pricier than fossil fuels.
Now though, researchers from the University of Oxford have developed a new
low-cost catalyst that can directly convert CO2 into jet fuel, which they
say could eventually lay the foundation for a circular economy for aviation
“Instead of consuming fossil crude oil, jet aviation fuels and
petrochemical starting compounds are produced from a valuable and renewable
raw material, namely, carbon dioxide,” they write in a paper in *Nature
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