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Scientists Accidentally Found A Way To Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel

Scientists Accidentally Found A Way To Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel

Scientists have discovered a way to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol, which can be used as fuel. By accident, by the way.

The burning of fossil fuels for energy means that billions of tons of carbon dioxide are created and pumped out into the air every year.

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However, thanks to an accidental discovery, it transpires that it can be turned into ethanol. And, if this is scaled up, it could help to reduce the effects of global warming.

Dr Adam Rondinone, from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led the study. He told the Daily Mail: "We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked.

"We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realised that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own."

It all gets a bit too scientific for me here, with my C in science at GCSE, but, basically, the scientists discovered that by creating a catalyst made of carbon, copper and nitrogen and then running electricity though it, a chemical reaction occurred which creates ethanol.

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Apparently, what makes this such a brilliant discovery is the fact that it doesn't require any expensive metals, so scaling it up to industrial levels should be easy enough.

The ethanol can then be used to store electricity generated from solar and wind power, amongst other things.

I mean, these guys are so clever that they find stuff like this out by accident, whereas I accidentally close Word documents without saving them.

Featured image credit: PA

Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]