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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: 1, Insightful) by Arik on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:36AM (2 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:36AM (#566621) Journal
    "Quick question: is Vitamin D beneficial or is it a poison?"

    So your reply is to change the subject?

    I said nothing about 'beneficial' or 'poison.' Nor Vitamin D either, for that matter.

    "In the same way, you can't describe CO2 as only either "air" or a "pollutant". "

    Sure I can. Because I'm speaking English, where words have meanings. You can't pollute air with air, you can't pollute water with water.

    "Pollution" is not the set of all bad things. Nor is it a super-set containing that set. It is, instead, one of many words that describe *subsets* of the set of all bad things. Shocking as this may be to you, not all words for bad things are synonyms. If they were, we wouldn't need so many of them.

    "If CO2 levels in the atmosphere fell enough, that could bring about an ice age. "

    Umm, ok, and again, what does that have to do with pollution?

    "Sort of like a vitamin deficiency. "

    Which is yet another thing you have managed to mention with absolutely no apparent connection to the subject. Which I'll remind you was 'pollution.' Not "deficiency," and not "poison." I know they're confusingly similar, both starting with a 'p' and ending with an 'n' with a soft squishy sound in the middle and vowels to separate, but they're really entirely different words with distinct meanings.

    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
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  • (Score: 1) by baldrick on Tuesday September 12 2017, @11:13AM (1 child)

    by baldrick (352) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @11:13AM (#566678)

    if you had a saltwater enviroment with a fish in it and kept adding fresh water would the fish consider you to be polluting its enviroment ?

    ... I obey the Laws of Physics ...
    • (Score: 1) by Arik on Tuesday September 12 2017, @11:19AM

      by Arik (4543) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @11:19AM (#566681) Journal
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?