Carbon dioxide – making it cool and sustainable!

Hello boys and girls! Today I have super interesting news for you about how to convert carbon dioxide into something really valuable and sustainable, it turns out that a group of scientists from Northwestern University has gotten down to work and has achieved something great. Imagine this: capturing CO2, that little gas that contributes so much to climate change, and turning it into acetic acid. Acid what? Well, acetic acid is a substance that may be familiar to some, as it is part of household vinegar, but here comes the interesting thing: most of the acetic acid is used in the manufacture of paints, coatings and adhesives, and that! it is produced from methanol, which comes from fossil fuels! Isn’t that crazy?

But thanks to these researchers, we have an exciting alternative. They have used a process called electrochemistry, which basically means using electricity to do a chemical reaction, like magic! First, they take the captured CO2 and convert it into carbon monoxide (CO). Then, that CO goes through another process and is transformed into different molecules that contain two or more carbon atoms, including acetic acid! And here comes the best part: this new method is much more efficient than the previous ones. They achieved 91% efficiency! This means that for every 100 electrons that go through the process, 91 end up in the desired acetic acid! Eso es increíblemente alto comparado con otros procesos similares.

In addition, they found that by using a lower proportion of copper in the catalyst and increasing the pressure a bit, they were able to get even better results. And the coolest thing is that the catalyst remained stable even after many hours of operation. That’s a great achievement! Now, I know all this information may sound a bit scientific, but the important thing is that these scientists are breaking new ground in making carbon capture and storage more interesting and sustainable. Can you imagine being able to convert CO2 into useful products and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels? It’s like having a superpower to save the planet!

So the next time you see a little bottle of vinegar in the kitchen, remember that acetic acid can also be a step towards a more sustainable future. The power of science is amazing! Stay tuned and curious, see you next time!

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