Solar-powered Device Converts Emissions to Energy

Don’t get too excited about this one, because it’s still in the research phase. But it sounds extraordinary, mainly because it turns one of humanity’s great weaknesses into a strength. We’re talking about, of course, carbon dioxide. Although many scientists will go on and on about how good CO2 is for plant life, it’s rapidly becoming Public Enemy Number 1 for its ability to accelerate global warming.

A group of scientists at the University of California, San Diego have constructed a prototype of a “splitter” that converts solar energy to electrical energy and then divides that CO2 into CO and O. That CO is carbon monoxide is a renewal energy source and is much more environmentally friendly than its double-oxygen progenitor. Carbon monoxide is nowadays produced from natural gas, which isn’t always in large supply and can be quite expensive to tap into a fuel source. The UCSD “splitting” device would seem to bypass that problem by taking an emissions producer and turning it into renewable energy.

The scientists stress that theirs is a work in progress. But they have a prototype, and they know how to use it. Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before something like this is part of the energy debate lexicon.


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