It’s been very clear for a while for a moment that there’s too much carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere which densely leading to a warming planet, and scientists have now come up with a new plan for concerning with all this excess CO2 – converting it into plastic. The plastic itself is not environmental friendly materials, but not only would mean that CO2 can get converted into something useful, it can also reduce the need to produce plastics from fossil fuels which give us a better chance of hitting targets for limiting climate change.
Still, scientists have devised the most efficient method for converting carbon dioxide into the raw material used to make the most commonly used plastic, polyethylene (ethylene). Lead researchers Phil De Luna from the University of Toronto in Canada says, “I think the future will be filled with technologies that make value out of waste. It’s exciting because we are working in the direction of developing new and sustainable ways to meet the energy demands of the future.”
A technique including X-ray spectroscopy and computer modeling techniques is used by the team at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) facility at the University of Saskatchewan –investigating the matter with electromagnetic radiation to identify their key catalyst. One of the team members also from the University of Toronto, Rafael Quintero-Bermudez says, “This has never been done before. This unique measurement allowed us to explore a lot of research questions about how the process takes place and how it can be engineered to improve.”
“This experiment could not have been performed anywhere else in the world, and we are thrilled with the results,” adds De Luna. The energy required for the conversion can be provided by a renewable source, and the resulting plastics can be reused or recycled later in life, the overall impact should be a positive one.