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Scientists Accidentally Discover Efficient Process to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol

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posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 03:17 PM

originally posted by: ManFromEurope
a reply to: bobs_uruncle

Can't run cars on wood efficiently..

Maybe not, but I can take a small conversion process using wood/cellulose plus iogen enzymes and super yeast, make ethanol to run an engine which can run an alternator and use sodium hydroxide and hydrogen generator to produce extra combustible material for that engine.

I'd still rather have the trees.

Cheers - Dave

posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 04:57 PM
I see two problems with it:

1. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is so low, it would be difficult to make enough ethanol to produce any real profit. That dynamic would of course lessen if carbon dioxide levels go up.

2. The government can't control it.

On the good side, it means a potential source for minimizing our reliance on oil, a safety net should carbon dioxide levels actually become a problem, and it means we don't need to do cap and trade anymore. Everyone hiding in their basements screaming that we're all gonna drown in a fiery flood can come out and relax now.

All that said, this is a pretty nifty little process they found. I am impressed!


posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 05:03 PM
inb4 suicided

"move along, nothing to see here"
edit on 18-10-2016 by Perjury because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 05:07 PM

originally posted by: iTruthSeeker

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?

It would likely help, but I don't know how cost effective it would be. it would probably do more immediate good to stop deforestation efforts, especially in places like the Amazon and Indonesia where there appears to be a race on for who can cut down the forests the fastest.

posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 08:21 PM

originally posted by: iTruthSeeker

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.

What the invention is, is a selective catalyst.

Energetically, this concept is a loser. If you had enough electrical power to reverse combustion, you would put it on the grid and skip the inefficiencies of conversion and recombustion.

This is not a workable solution.

posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 08:33 PM
So what about all the corn growers and their govt subsidies? Ohh no!

posted on Oct, 19 2016 @ 12:28 AM
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

Star and flag. Incredible news. The main problem with this is that nobody will make money on a carbon tax. Just wait for the pushback.

Now, if this really works, we get to see if the climate change cartel cares about money or real solutions.

posted on Oct, 19 2016 @ 12:29 AM
God damn, double post.

The responses are rigged. I'm going to make responses great again.
edit on 10/19/16 by Ksihkehe because: Make double posts great again, we're going to double post win so much you'll get sick of it.

posted on Oct, 19 2016 @ 01:04 AM
But, like most processes that create a fuel source, more energy is required to get the fuel than we can get from the fuel.

So we will be polluting just to unpollute.

posted on Oct, 19 2016 @ 01:19 AM

originally posted by: WeAre0ne

So we will be polluting just to unpollute.

provided we dont burn the ethanol that is produced, yea i can agree with this statement

but since the ethanol produce will be burnt a more accurate statement would be "we will be polluting to pollute less".

posted on Oct, 19 2016 @ 11:17 AM

I don't think they can run engines on pure ethanol. I don't think the process is cheap or on any but a nano scale as yet. If it did work, the oil companies would buy the rights and bury it.

Its another feel good hope for the betterment of our future.

Don't worry about pollution and the environment , whispers: (they're working on it).
edit on 19-10-2016 by intrptr because: bb code

posted on Oct, 19 2016 @ 11:19 AM
Coal fired power plants, all vehicle and aircraft traffic and deforestation, including killing the oceans with chemical fertilizer farming runoff is whats killing us.

posted on Dec, 7 2016 @ 05:19 PM
a reply to: intrptr

Check this out!

The disruptive energy storage technology developed by Dr. Mets in his lab has been validated by Electrochaea and is now being shown to scale in a commercially meaningful way,” said Cristianne Frazier, senior project manager of technology commercialization and licensing at the Polsky Center.
The process starts with surplus electricity that is coming from a wind farm or solar array, but isn’t needed immediately. That [excess] power is used to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is combined with waste carbon dioxide from any of a variety of sources, such as a biogas or an industrial process, in a proprietary bioreactor in which the microorganisms efficiently catalyze conversion of the mixture into methane and water.

University Chicago News, Nov. 30, 2016 - UChicago startup turns renewable energy into natural gas.

Yeah, I would say it is being worked on! This time, instead of the wonder material graphene, they engineered a micro organism (the infamous, "and here magic happens") to create methane and water. [ETA: And this process is scalable which is why I posted it. An here, because it is all part of the conversation]

I would bet a dollar, that the best place to get CO2 would be an electrical plant, especially if it is burning natural gas, and using their waste product. This is an example of "up cycling" that if you are a smart company you are going to start doing. You just need the will to do it.

Combined with Zaphod's READiJet thread, I have not lost all hope!

I agree with the oceans sentiment too! No more chemical fertilizers! And we still need to go clean up that plastic island in the Pacific.

edit on 7-12-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: clarity

posted on Dec, 7 2016 @ 11:56 PM


I would bet a dollar, that the best place to get CO2 would be an electrical plant, especially if it is burning natural gas, and using their waste product.

Oil production byproduct is gas that they burn off, that could be used as a source for CO2 also.

Better yet solar cells could produce the energy for electrolysis, I think they replanting to do that on places like Mars. Make their own fuel, air and water.

posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 12:52 AM
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

This could be a very good thing, provided they use the Technology for the good of all and not just the few.

Good find

posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:18 AM
a reply to: intrptr

There is also lots of iron on Mars! Get yourself some chromium and you can make your own flow batteries. So you harvest CO2 from the atmosphere you can make carbon nanotube reinforced steel along with your own fuel, air, and water and what energy you don't use you can store in a flow battery. Is that how we are going to colonize Mars?

Which is a good thing because I want off this rock.

posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:31 AM

First we have to get... To Mars.

Setting up that infrastructure is prepositioning domiciles and factories for converting atmosphere and permafrost to potable water, fuel and air, long before the habitants arrive.

Practically that means landing several platforms near enough to each other on the surface so as to be close enough to travel between them and not so close they destroy each other on landing...

digest that for a few moments.

After you add up the cost of all those unmanned landing vehicles, the crews themselves, resupply, monitoring...

posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:39 AM
You also can't use oxidized metals for a flow battery. They're a storage medium, not a font of free energy. You'll need hell's own set of solar cells or a nuclear reactor to reduce them to a metallic state. If the metals had any chemical energy potential, time and entropy would have long since dealt with that.

posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:53 AM
a reply to: Bedlam

Yeah, and the magnetic strength might not be there too so it might not even work.


A TEOT can dream! Then, like Cartman bouncing around on Mars, I guess I have to come back to reality.

At least we are trying to convert CO2 back into usable energy here on earth. I think that is good news. The OP is one of three attempting this (UChicago, READi fuels). There is the CO2 pilot plant in Canada where they are sucking it out of the air. I guess we should get these ideas off the ground before jumping the gun on Mars.

posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:57 AM

originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

A TEOT can dream!

I'm dreaming that a money-maddened showoff new president decides to rub it in the world's face by revealing a certain Naval group has been doing semi-hot fusion development for subs, and it's ready to go. It's YUGE. And we will lease it to the world. One joule at a time.

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