Scientists have developed a way to create a material that can help convert carbon dioxide into fuel and other rich energy products using light without creating any side unwanted by-products.
It is a significant step in developing technology that can generate fuel.
When exposed to visible light, the material, called nickel organic crystalline structure, converted carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) gas, which can be further turned into liquid fuels or solvents or even other useful products.
“We show a near 100 per cent selectivity of CO production, with no detection of competing gas products like hydrogen or methane” claims Haimei Zheng, scientist at US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The well known and famous example is in photosynthesis, when plants transfer water and conversion from carbon dioxide while creating carbohydrates and oxygen.
Researchers developed an innovative laser chemical method of creating a metal-organic composite material.
They dissolved nickel in to a solution of triethylene glycol and exposed the solution to an unfocused infrared laser, which set off a chain reaction in the solution as the metal absorbed the light.
The resulting reaction formed metal-organic composites that were then separated from the solution.
“That’s how we determined that the reactions were light- activated rather than heat-activated,” said Niu.
These Light – activated energy thus can be used efficiently without the need of heat to generate energy.
Source : Science Advances.