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Carbon Alchemy: MIT’s revolutionary CO2 conversion technology

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on SciTechDaily or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: MIT chemical engineers have developed a new method to efficiently convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) using a DNA-tethered catalytic process
• This innovation has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offers a new pathway for producing valuable chemicals from CO2

🔭 The context: The process involves using DNA to tether a catalyst to an electrode, enhancing the electrochemical conversion of CO2 to CO
• This approach could be crucial for industrial applications, offering a method to mitigate CO2 emissions from power plants and other sources

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Transforming CO2 into CO opens the door to creating useful compounds like ethanol and other fuels, directly addressing climate change by reducing the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere
• This method not only aids in decarbonization but also in the production of profitable chemicals

⏭️ What's next: Ariel Furst, the senior author of the study, has founded Helix Carbon to further develop this technology for commercial use
• The company aims to enhance the technology's scalability and explore the production of other products, such as methanol and ethanol, using similar approaches

💬 One quote: "It’s a path forward for decarbonization because we can take CO2, which is a greenhouse gas, and turn it into things that are useful for chemical manufacture," says Ariel Furst, MIT professor and senior author of the study.

📈 One stat: The new method achieves a Faradaic efficiency of 100 percent, meaning all the electrical energy input is used directly in the chemical reactions without any waste. This is a significant increase from the 40 percent efficiency when catalysts are not tethered by DNA.

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