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Chemistry for greenhouse gases
Date:11/30/2010

ing the metal complex's ability to perform a reduction reaction, the conversion of CO2 into methanol (CH3OH).

"Carbon dioxide is an exceptionally stable molecule, so anything you do with it is going to require energy, " Mirica says. "We're just trying to use the metal complex to minimize the energy input. "

Both the ethane and methanol reactions take greenhouse gases and transform them to liquid or easily liquefied compounds that could then be reused as fuels. If the energy penalty turns out to be low enough the carbon could be recycled in this way many times.

Chemistry for the Greenhouse

Ultimately Mirica's goal is a recycling carbon chemistry that requires so little energy that it can run off sunlight.

"If we're going to keep using these carbon-containing fuels that make CO2, we should be trying to make combustion carbon-neutral by using catalysts and the sun's energy to convert CO2 back into fuel," he says.


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Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

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