Artificial Leaf Can Convert Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel By Using Sunlight

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Artificial Leaf Can Convert Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel By Using Sunlight

It might sound unbelievable, but researchers claim to have invented a new technology that mimics photosynthesis. More specifically, this technology, which is also inexpensive, is actually an "artificial leaf" that turns carbon dioxide into fuel by using sunlight the same way in which plants do.


Scientists hope the artificial leaf can contribute to the fight against global warming. In recent years, carbon dioxide emissions have wreaked havoc on the planet, as evidenced by erratic weather patterns and climate shifts, which are sweeping a growing number of regions toward unlivable conditions.


This is the latest research in a series of techniques devised to convert CO2 emissions back into usable fuel. Scientists hope that such discoveries could help in the fight against rising greenhouse gas levels and tip the balance towards attaining negative carbon emissions in society and industry.


With the help of an inexpensive red powder called cuprous oxide—found in abundance in nature—this artificial leaf converts carbon dioxide into methanol and oxygen, which can then be used as fuel once the water in the solution evaporates, as reported by a paper published in Nature Energy.


It might take several years before the process becomes commercialized. At that point, researchers believe that oil, steel, and automotive companies might have taken advantage of the technology to help decrease their carbon emissions.



Power is generated by a chemical reaction that involves glucose, sodium hydroxide, copper acetate, and sodium dodecyl sulfate—all these are added to water. Then, the water is heated to a specific temperature, which begins the reaction before carbon dioxide is blown through it, while a white light beam is shone through the water.


The researchers wish to increase the amount of ethanol produced by the process before this technology is introduced at a larger scale.

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Thinking Humanity: Artificial Leaf Can Convert Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel By Using Sunlight
Artificial Leaf Can Convert Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel By Using Sunlight
It might sound unbelievable, but researchers claim to have invented a new technology that mimics photosynthesis.
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