In a major scientific breakthrough, researchers at the University of Cambridge have shown that it is possible to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes or directly from the air, and convert it into sustainable fuels using only solar energy. energy.
In their experiments, the researchers used a solar-powered reactor to convert captured CO2 and plastic waste into sustainable fuels and valuable chemicals. CO2 is turned into syngas, an important ingredient for sustainable liquid fuels, while plastic bottles are turned into glycolic acid, which is used in the cosmetics industry.
The fundamental difference to previous research is that this British team extracted CO2 from real-world sources, such as industrial waste and the air itself. This means they capture CO2, concentrate it and turn it into sustainable fuel. Although improvements are still needed to use this technology on a large scale, it represents an important step towards the production of clean fuels that do not depend on the extraction of oil and gas, which harms the environment.
A research team at the University of Cambridge has been developing sustainable fuels inspired by photosynthesis for years, using artificial leaves that convert CO2 and water into fuel using solar energy. Currently, these experiments use pure, concentrated CO2 from a cylinder, but for the technology to be practical, CO2 must be actively extracted from industrial processes or directly from the air.
The technology developed by the researchers is able to select CO2 from other gases in the air, such as nitrogen and oxygen. In addition, thanks to the addition of plastic waste, this system is able to convert CO2 fuel and plastics into useful chemicals.
In short, this technological advance shows that it is possible to capture CO2 from real-world sources and convert it into sustainable fuels using solar energy. Although improvements are needed, this technology can help reduce carbon emissions and eliminate dependence on fossil fuels for fuel production.