Scientists have come up with a new idea that can convert CO2 into clean, sustainable fuels without producing any undesirable waste or byproducts.
Prior to this, researchers from the University of Cambridge revealed that biocatalytic enzymes may be used to produce fuels in an environmentally acceptable manner, but at a low efficiency.
For the first time, new study reveals that carbon emissions may be transformed into green fuel effectively and without losing energy in a laboratory environment.
Two linked publications in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature Chemistry provide the findings of this study.
Hydrogen, for example, is a byproduct of most processes for converting CO2 into fuel. Researchers can manipulate the environment to prevent hydrogen generation, but doing so diminishes CO2 conversion performance. This means that cleaner gasoline may be generated, but at a price.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have created a proof of concept that uses enzymes derived from bacteria to power chemical processes that convert CO2 into fuel using an electrolysis process.
Enzymes, on the other hand, are more effective than other catalysts like gold, but they are extremely sensitive to their immediate chemical surroundings. Enzymes degrade and chemical processes slow down when the proper local environment isn’t there.
Cambridge researchers and a team from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, have found a way to increase the efficiency of electrolysis by fine-tuning the solution conditions.
Due to the lack of undesired by-products caused by enzyme development over millions of years, these enzymes are excellent for fuel generation.