Washington: A novel catalyst breaks carbon dioxide into useful chemicals faster, cheaper, and more efficiently than the standard method, an advance that could make it possible to economically turn CO2 into fuels, scientists say. The extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is changing the planet’s climate, and many chemists are working on efficient ways to turn it into other useful products. However, the researchers noted that carbon dioxide’s stability makes this tough. It’s hard to get the molecule to react with anything else. The best existing technique to electrochemically break carbon dioxide into pieces that will chemically react uses a catalyst made of platinum, which is a rare, expensive metal, they said.
In the research the scientists created an electrochemical cell filled with a porous, foamy catalyst made of nickel and iron, metals which are cheap and abundant.
This article was published in the print edition of Free Press Journal on November 19, 2019 with the heading New way to break CO2 into useful chemicals.