Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Technology Will Eventually Reduce CO2 Emissions From Fossil Fuels

Below is one of many research activities currently going on to reduce and capture CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, while converting it into a usable product, such as methane. Capturing and converting CO2 emissions is a realistic and economic alternative to banning the use of fossil fuels.

Various researchers around the world have studied copper’s potential as an energy-efficient means of recycling carbon dioxide emissions in powerplants: Instead of being released into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide would be circulated through a copper catalyst and turned into methane — which could then power the rest of the plant. Such a self-energizing system could vastly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired and natural-gas-powered plants.
Now researchers at MIT have come up with a solution that may further reduce the energy needed for copper to convert carbon dioxide, while also making the metal much more stable. The group has engineered tiny nanoparticles of copper mixed with gold, which is resistant to corrosion and oxidation. The researchers observed that just a touch of gold makes copper much more stable. In experiments, they coated electrodes with the hybrid nanoparticles and found that much less energy was needed for these engineered nanoparticles to react with carbon dioxide, compared to nanoparticles of pure copper.
Technological advancements, along with a profit motive to make money off of all the byproducts of energy production, will reduce the CO2 released into the atmosphere without lowering our standard of living or increasing the cost of energy.

As has been well documented many times in the past, technology, capitalism, private property rights and market pricing (capitalism) do more to conserve resources than government, environmental laws or conservation groups.


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  2. The most important thing is to introduce renewable energy in the transport sector and have the sector integrated in the energy system. By land, air and sea there are plenty of opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions.

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  5. Excellent analysis–and definitely something I haven’t seen done before. Looking forward to seeing what comes of this!

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