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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday September 12 2017, @04:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the were-they-in-Denver? dept.

It may sound too good to be true, but TU Delft PhD student Ming Ma has found a way to produce alcohol out of thin air. Or to be more precise, he has found how to effectively and precisely control the process of electroreduction of CO2 to produce a wide range of useful products, including alcohol. Being able to use CO2 as such a resource may be pivotal in tackling climate change. His PhD defence will take place on September 14th.

[...] For mitigating atmospheric CO2 concentration, carbon capture and utilization (CCU) could be a feasible alternative strategy to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). The electrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels and value-added chemicals has attracted considerable attention as a promising solution. In this process, the captured CO2 is used as a resource and converted into carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), ethylene (C2H4), and even liquid products such as formic acid (HCOOH), methanol (CH3OH) and ethanol (C2H5OH).

The high energy density hydrocarbons can be directly and conveniently utilized as fuels within the current energy infrastructure. In addition, the production of CO is very interesting since it can be used as feedstock in the Fischer–Tropsch process, a well-developed technology that has been widely used in industry to convert syngas (CO and hydrogen (H2)) into valuable chemicals such as methanol and synthetic fuels (such as diesel fuel). The figure attached describes these three processes and the way electroreduction of CO2 could potentially close the carbon cycle.

Beer, from air. Others use barley as an intermediary.

Publication: Aula TU Delft, PhD defence Ming Ma, Selective Electrocatalytic CO2 Conversion on Metal Surfaces.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Tuesday September 12 2017, @07:39AM (5 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12 2017, @07:39AM (#566590) Journal

    According to your logic, drinking sea water should be healthy: Salt is something your body needs, and sea water contains a lot of it.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
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  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Tuesday September 12 2017, @07:54AM (4 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @07:54AM (#566598) Journal
    "According to your logic, drinking sea water should be healthy"

    According to your logic, anything that is unhealthy is pollution?

    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 2) by tfried on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:14AM (2 children)

      by tfried (5534) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:14AM (#566608)

      According to your logic, the term "pollution" is independent of context?

      So would you rather I enhance your fuel tank with some sugar, or your cereals with some gasoline?

      • (Score: 1) by Arik on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:18AM

        by Arik (4543) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:18AM (#566611) Journal
        "According to your logic, the term "pollution" is independent of context?"

        I'm absolutely certain I said the exact opposite of that.

        "So would you rather I enhance your fuel tank with some sugar, or your cereals with some gasoline?"

        Neither thanks.

        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by tfried on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:21AM

        by tfried (5534) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:21AM (#566614)

        Or, since you seem so hung up about adding something that was already in the mix: You don't think you can pollute a river by adding (large amounts of) salt? You don't think you can pollute flour by adding rodent hair? You don't think you can pollute vegetables by adding mold? You don't think you can pollute your silicon dies by adding to much of the doping elements? You don't think you can pollute your view of the night sky by lighting a strong bulb next to your eye?

        You don't think you can pollute a debate by insisting on nonsense definitions nobody else seems to share?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12 2017, @02:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12 2017, @02:17PM (#566738)

      According to your logic, anything that is unhealthy is pollution?

      According to my logic, any politician is unhealthy thus pollutant. Care to disagree?