New system opens the door to transforming CO2 into industrial fuels

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 00:20 in Physics & Chemistry

Imagine a day when emissions spewing from power plants and heavy industry are captured and fed into catalytic reactors that chemically transform greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, into industrial fuels or chemicals that emit only oxygen. It’s a future that Haotian Wang says may be closer than many realize. A fellow at the Rowland Institute at Harvard, Wang and colleagues have developed an improved system to use renewable electricity to reduce carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide (CO) — a key commodity used in a number of industrial processes. The system is described in a Nov. 8 paper published in Joule, a newly launched sister journal of Cell Press. “The most promising idea may be to connect these devices with coal-fired power plants or other industry that produces a lot of CO2,” Wang said. “About 20 percent of those gases are CO2, so if you can pump them into this cell … and...

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