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Ethanol from CO2

By Gerald Ondrey |

Scientists at the U.S. DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL; Tenn.; www.ornl.gov) have developed an electrochemical process that directly produces ethanol from CO2. The researchers used a catalyst consisting of copper nanoparticles embedded in carbon spikes, and applied voltage to trigger a reaction that is essentially the reverse of combustion. The catalyst contains multiple reaction sites, and converts an aqueous solution of CO2 directly into ethanol with a yield of 63%.
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