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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, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday September 12 2017, @12:30PM

    by c0lo (156) on Tuesday September 12 2017, @12:30PM (#566702) Journal

    So, is a cow only carbon-neutral if you bury it once it dies? I mean I like my aged steak, but I'm not too keen on having to *dig* for it..

    This is what I understood one of the argument of the vegans is.
    They can bury their steak if so they like it, but better stay away from mine (rump-steak 42-day-properly-aged and then twitching-blue grilled over charcoal is my favourite - a good balance, to my taste, between flavour and texture).

    Besides, the problem with steak is the water use, rather than the by-products..

    Oh, so this is why the Murray-Darling basin dries out!
    Those paid-by-tax-water thieves in outback NSW sucking dry the Barwon-Darling system have nothing to do with it. Perhaps this is why, unlike the Northern Territory under-age detention case, we haven't heard about any outcome; silly me, out-of-sight-out-of-mind has nothing to do with it.
    Tell you what: I'll insist my steak be raised in Tasmania then, lately they have excess of water.

    (grin)

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