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Scientists Accidentally Discover Efficient Process to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol

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posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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www.popularmechanics.com...



The process is cheap, efficient, and scalable, meaning it could soon be used to remove large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.




Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a chemical reaction to turn CO2 into ethanol, potentially creating a new technology to help avert climate change. Their findings were published in the journal ChemistrySelect.

The researchers were attempting to find a series of chemical reactions that could turn CO2 into a useful fuel, when they realized the first step in their process managed to do it all by itself. The reaction turns CO2 into ethanol, which could in turn be used to power generators and vehicles.


What say you ATS? This looks like good news on 2 fronts, one being reducing c02 for you global warming silly's. And on the other hand a fuel/energy source. Of course with any technology, there is potential for bad, or in some cases, it is ignored and swept under the rug. I do believe that we already posses the tech somewhere to fix the planet's, and societies ills.

Anything to replace or at least supplement oil is also another good thing.
edit on 18-10-2016 by iTruthSeeker because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 12:54 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

Could be a nice win-win with ethanol needs reduced from corn/maze making the grain more available as a food source.



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:01 PM
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Ok, I'm not a scientist. AT ALL.


So what happens if you take too much CO2 out of the air? Like, all of it? Isn't there supposed to be a little bit?

(I'm just thinking about how we screw things up, even things meant to be good.)



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:04 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

We could use it! Back in 2014 the global carbon emissions were reportedly 9.8 Gigatonnes..




Global carbon (C) emissions from fossil fuel use were 9.795 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2014 (or 35.9 GtCO2 of carbon dioxide).


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posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:06 PM
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Maybe I could rig up a device on my exhaust pipe that would make alcohol and store it in the trunk. Save the environment, never have to pay for a drink again. Bam.



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:08 PM
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originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

Could be a nice win-win with ethanol needs reduced from corn/maze making the grain more available as a food source.



Nah! Just make that much more plastics!



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:12 PM
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originally posted by: chiefsmom
Ok, I'm not a scientist. AT ALL.


So what happens if you take too much CO2 out of the air? Like, all of it? Isn't there supposed to be a little bit?


Then all plants would die. But there is little chance of this process, even scaled up, would do more than lessen the man-made CO2 that goes into the atmosphere. We just passed the 400 ppm threshold. To get it BACK to 400 ppm would be a major undertaking. I see little hope of that happening. FWIW CO2 was 2000ppm during the Jurassic and Triassic periods, the age of the dinosaurs. So it's not as if the world will end of it keeps going up. And mankind won't suddenly disappear. It's just that life won't be the same as it was and the seacoast cities might develop a wee flooding problem as seas rise. It's all happened before--without our intervention.
edit on 10/18/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:13 PM
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Plants breathe in co2 and exhale o2.

Don't kill the plants, we need those.


edit:

I want to know how much electricity it takes to produce ethanol from co2- if its about the same as what we get back out from burning it we've got liquid batteries.
edit on 18-10-2016 by lordcomac because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:26 PM
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originally posted by: chiefsmom
Ok, I'm not a scientist. AT ALL.


So what happens if you take too much CO2 out of the air? Like, all of it? Isn't there supposed to be a little bit?

(I'm just thinking about how we screw things up, even things meant to be good.)



Yes the co2 in the air is measured in ppm (Parts per million) and the c02 level in our atmosphere is 400 ppm. So I would imagine they would constantly monitor it.



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:27 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Thank you very much for taking the time to explain that to me. Much appreciated.
edit on 18-10-2016 by chiefsmom because: spelling as usual



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:28 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: chiefsmom
Ok, I'm not a scientist. AT ALL.


So what happens if you take too much CO2 out of the air? Like, all of it? Isn't there supposed to be a little bit?


Then all plants would die. But there is little chance of this process, even scaled up, would do more than lessen the man-made CO2 that goes into the atmosphere. We just passed the 400 ppm threshold. To get it BACK to 400 ppm would be a major undertaking. I see little hope of that happening. FWIW CO2 was 2000ppm during the Jurassic and Triassic periods, the age of the dinosaurs. So it's not as if the world will end of it keeps going up. And mankind won't suddenly disappear. It's just that life won't be the same as it was and the seacoast cities might develop a wee flooding problem as seas rise. It's all happened before--without our intervention.



Would planting mass crops of trees help absorb enough to get back to the 400 ppm? It would take 15-20 years for them to grow but I am talking about planting trees on a massive global scale?
edit on 18-10-2016 by iTruthSeeker because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:44 PM
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Maybe this is a stupid question but...

Turning co2 in the atmosphere into ethanol would reduce the concentration in the air.
Makes sense.
But when you burn the ethanol, doesn't the carbon get released back into the atmosphere?



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:49 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
Maybe this is a stupid question but...

Turning co2 in the atmosphere into ethanol would reduce the concentration in the air.
Makes sense.
But when you burn the ethanol, doesn't the carbon get released back into the atmosphere?


Yes.

But who says we have to burn it? Heck, the stuff evaporates readily enough- I wonder what kind of a mess THAT would make of the environment



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

An interesting idea, but farmers and conservationists know that planting crops and trees sequester co2 naturally. Get these clowns to stop cutting down forests. It seems like an artificial method of managing strip-mining forests.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

This is strange. Ironic, even. I wonder what the emissions are.



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 02:43 PM
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Would rather see a process that pulls methan from the air to do something useful with it. Higher concentrations of CO2 in the air just makes plants happy. As evidence in earths history.



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

This is done at room temperature! They use CO2 dissolved in water. Their nanocatalyst is N-doped graphene with copper nanoparticles. The "carbon spikes" mentioned are points where the graphene sticks out above the surface. The CO2 comes along and gets snagged on the spikes so to speak. The electricity flows through and converts the mixture to ethanol (on the other thread, quoting Oak Ridge's own article) they said, at 63% (which is amount of ethanol in water which means it is a cool 126 proof batch of hooch!).

Now what to do with a lot low flash point liquid hydrocarbon? It can be mixed back in with gasoline, used as part of a solvent, varnish, uh, any other great ideas?

Science is cool!




posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

WTF!

This is.. important. Really important, if true. At least, it did not come from some lone "free-energy"-thinker, but from the Oak Ridge Lab! That does give it some substance!

Why is this so important?

- the process does not need chemicals to be used, they are working as a catalyst (which means that the chemicals just initialize a chemical process without being used up by it, therefore diminishing the needed amount of said chemicals!).

- the process seems to be exothermal or near-zero endothermal, which means that you don't have to put much energy into it.

- CO2 -> C2H6O = fuel! We get fule out of a combustion gas with a yield of about 63%!

- This means that we don't have to use fossile gas anymore!

- This means that Climate Change can be reversed, as we stop pumping fossile CO2 into the athmosphere!

If all of this is true, I foresee a well-deserved Nobel prize for this discovery!
What is the name of the company which produces this material, I will buy shares en masse.. Okay, maybe I am too hyped up, but this could be IT, far more than all of the free-energy-crap!



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 03:00 PM
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a reply to: bobs_uruncle

Can't run cars on wood efficiently..



posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 03:16 PM
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a reply to: chiefsmom

The process is only something like sixty two percent efficient so not all the CO2 is consumed or converted. Also, use and burning of the product (ethanol) will replace anything which is stripped from the atmosphere eventually, but this technology means that rather than having a one way climb on a graph showing the atmospheres CO2 level, we could, if it is implemented well, at least see that level flatten off, if not a nett reduction.



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