(10) Making Gasoline from Carbon Dioxide
Researchers at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have recently demonstrated that;
Light absorbed and converted into electricity by silicon electrode can cause a reaction that converts CO2 into CO and O2.
CO is a valuable commodity chemical for making;
Plastics, syngas (mixture of CO & H2), methanol and gasoline.
Converting CO2 to CO is difficult . Hence the UCSD work is considered interesting and exciting.
System shows many promises:
Use of CO2 (leading greenhouse gas) as a feedstock and not an end product.
Making Plastics from greenhouse gases than making tons of greenhouse gases in the process.
UCSD system shows feasibility of using Solar Energy to make CO and then together with H2, can be converted to gasoline.
Today CO is made from natural gas and coal. CO2 is more attractive, cheaper and many companies will even pay to get rid of it.
Use of catalyst-coated nanoparticles to increase surface area to speed up reactions, may be necessary for large scale application.
Prof. Clifford Kubiak, at UCSD says that commercial system may take another 10 years to develop fully.