Global warming is a major threat for all of us. By the year 2040, all the ice sheet from the Arctic Ocean is expected to melt as extreme climate changes are taking place. Last year, Earth’s temperature reached a historic high and the concentration of carbon dioxide surpassed record levels. Scientists made a huge discovery: can carbon dioxide create electricity?
- Scientists managed to create an artificial leaf that can turn carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide.
- This discovery can change our world and it could help us fighting against global warming.
- Researchers said that, at least for now, it could not replace fossil fuels in cars because it depends on the solar energy.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory managed to create an artificial leaf that imitates the process of photosynthesis. This way, the researchers could convert carbon dioxide into fuel. The experiment used light, water, and carbon dioxide but the product is different than what we can find in nature.
That artificial leaf is using the metal tungsten to convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide. That is how they obtained a greenhouse gas which can be easily turned into fuel. Moreover, tungsten works one thousand times faster and is cheaper than any other metal. So it seems that science can recycle atmospheric carbon into fuel just by using sunlight.This discovery could change the way we are dealing with global warming and also could save our planet.
The artificial leaf works when it is hit by sunlight. In that moment, an electrochemical reaction occurs and turns the carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide. After this process, the monoxide is mixed with hydrogen and that is how the fuel can be made.
We are all curious when we will be able to use this new technology that implies using carbon dioxide. An official response has not been given yet. Researchers said that, at least for now, it could not replace fossil fuels in cars because it depends on the solar energy. Unfortunately, the artificial leaf has not much potential at a large-scale, but this does not mean that in the future things can’t change. What do you think? Will the researchers be able to make this discovery more than just a lab experiment?
Image source: Pixabay