Copper Gold nanoparticles convert carbon dioxide into methane

Copper has for long been appreciated by several researchers over the world for its ability to recycle carbon dioxide that is emitted by power plants. Moreover, copper is one of the few metals that can act as a catalyst and convert carbon dioxide into greenhouse gas with comparatively little energy. When voltage is applied to a copper electrode a series of reactions take place that further reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere by converting it into methane.

Hybrid copper-gold nanoparticles convert CO2

Copper, which is usually used for the tea kettles, is capable of reprocessing carbon dioxide emissions from the power plants, at lower energy consumption. This gas instead of being released into the atmosphere and pollute it, will be turned into methane through an electrochemical reaction. This methane gas will then in turn power the plant. But because copper is very easily oxidized, it is unstable as results it can, at times, produce certain unnecessary products.

The researchers observed that just a bit of blending of gold with copper makes the metal much more stable. In experiments, they also found that far less energy was needed for the new engineered nanoparticles to react with carbon dioxide as compared to those of pure copper.This experiment finally concludes that these hybrid nanoparticles are much more stable, and have the potential to lower the energy that is used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the powerplants.

Via: MIT