Last week my facebook feed nearly overflew with shares of an amazing discovery: a group of US scientists of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tenessee had accidently stumbled upon a catalyst that turns CO2 into ethanol. For those of you unfamiliar with catalysts, they are materials or substances that speed up or slow down the rate of a chemical reaction by providing a ‘reactive site’. The catalyst itself is not altered during the process (don’t run away, the article won’t get more complicated than this ;) ).
Well well, I thought. It’s about the fourth or fifth time this year I read about a new technique to suck CO2 out of the air. This one sparked my interest more than previous discoveries, though. (more…)