Nano-copper and nano-gold combine to form effective CO2 converter


Researchers have combined gold nanoparticles (in light red) with copper nanoparticles (in light green) to form hybrid nanoparticles (dark red), which they turned into powder (foreground) to catalyze carbon dioxide reduction (credit Zhichuan Xu)

Copper — the stuff of pennies and tea kettles — is also one of the few metals that can turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels with relatively little energy. When fashioned into an electrode and stimulated with voltage, copper acts as a strong catalyst, setting off an electrochemical reaction with carbon dioxide that reduces the greenhouse gas to methane or methanol.

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Carbon dioxide’s climate effects confirmed: temperatures followed rising CO2 levels during last deglaciation

There has been much speculation about what exactly caused the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Some say the Earth’s orbital changes were the cause, others say it was an increase in atmospheric CO2. But although a … Continue reading

Not recession but gas prices responsible for reduction in US carbon emissions

When the economic recession hit the US in 2009, at least one good thing seemed to have come from it: a reduction in carbon emissions to levels not seen since 1996. But as it turns out, the recession wasn’t the … Continue reading

CDR geoengineering challenge: low-carbon cement, high-carbon concrete

Current practice is to grind and burn enormous amounts of limestone, releasing equally enormous amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere. But isn’t there some way to reverse the chemical process and still end up with building material?

Despite recession carbon emissions keep rising to new records

We knew CO2 emissions reached a new record high in 2010, at 30.6 gigatonnes. Now a new study by CICERO, the Tyndall Centre and other institutes reconfirms the strong rebound after the 2008 global financial crisis – and predicts that … Continue reading

Drop in CO2 heralded the onset of Antarctic glaciation

For about 100 million years all sorts of animals roamed the then subtropical North and South poles. But then suddenly some 34 million years ago during the Eocene everything changed when temperatures fell dramatically in only a 100,000 year timespan, … Continue reading

Natural nitrogen production: 1.5 per cent less global energy consumption

The introduction of nitrogen containing fertiliser in the 1860s has drastically improved crop yields. This not only increased the quantity of food that can be produced, but carbon uptake as well. But due to the high pressure and temperature requirements, … Continue reading

Biofuel production from forests increases CO2 emissions

Biofuels are gaining more and more ground as a replacement for fossil fuels. Especially because they are carbon-neutral or even reduce atmospheric CO2, but also because of the need for energy security and oil price spikes. In their search for … Continue reading

Carbon storage facilities have low risk of causing CO2 poisoning

As more and more countries around the world struggle to meet their carbon emission reduction targets, they are looking for all kinds of solutions to work around the problem. One of those is carbon capture and storage (CCS). This atmospheric … Continue reading