Girl Planting seeds

Floating power plants

Paper, tin cans, glass—the world recycles as much as possible. So why not declare the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) a recycling product as well? Liquid fuels based on carbon will continue to play an important role in the future—despite international efforts to reduce them. So it seems sensible to recover the CO2 exhaust from the environment and use it again.  Researchers from ETH Zurich, PSI and the Universities of Zurich, Bern and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), together with a team from Empa, have calculated this idea and have shown that solar methanol islands could produce enough fuel in the long term to make all CO2 emitted from transportation sources neutral—worldwide. In the middle of the oceans, hydrogen (H2) is to be produced from solar energy (and water), which is then converted into methanol on site using CO2 extracted from the seawater. To this end, the researchers analyzed in detail a scenario that still seems purely hypothetical, but already provides the basis for a possible implementation. They present their results in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).  Read more...



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