Developed an electrocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide into plastics, fabrics and resins
Converting carbon dioxide into plastic
Rutgers University Scientists Develop Electrical Catalysts, working from solar energy, which stimulate chemical reactions between carbon dioxide and water, creating them plastics, fabrics, resins and others healthy foods.
Apart from enzymes, electrocatalysts are the only materials capable of converting CO2 and water into carbon compounds containing from one to four atoms carbon fiber with efficiency above 99%. Researcher-created methylglyoxal (C3) and 2,3-furandiol (C4) can use in quality precursors for plastics, adhesives and pharmaceuticals. When this the installation is powered by renewable energy sources, and the principle of its operation is based on the chemistry of artificial photosynthesis.
Previously scientists presented methods of electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into methanol, ethanol and ethylene with relatively high indicators exit. but they were inefficient and costly, making them unsuitable for commercial production.
So Rutgers decided to combine CO2 with water. for creating useful chemical products using of this cheap and affordable nickel and phosphorus catalysts. Changing the catalyst and reaction conditions allows determine the number of carbon atoms, which will be combined to create new molecules or even long polymers.
The image shows a diagram of the conversion of carbon dioxide into useful chemicals..
Team already received a patent for this invention and organized a startup RenewCO₂. In the future, scientists plan to apply technology for the production of other valuable products, such as diols, widely used in the polymer industry, or hydrocarbons, which may act as a renewable fuel. IN the moment team is engaged in the design and testing of commercial electrolysers.
Despite enough high level of development of science, researchers are still making random discoveries. Swiss scientists were stunned to learn that with help electron microscope can melt gold even at room temperature.