Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Geeks to the rescue!

I just read in Popular Mechanics that scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a chemical reaction that will turn carbon dioxide into ethanol.  As best as I can understand it this is a legitimate report taken from the journal ChemistrySelect. 

They were hoping to find a method to turn CO2 into a useful fuel, but they thought it would be a very complex process that might (or might not) have a practical application.  Instead they found that by simply arranging copper and carbon into "nano-spikes" (some sort of "hocus pocus" geek speak) on a silicon surface the desired chemical reaction would take place.  They say it is fairly simple, uses common materials, can be done at room temperature (not requiring any massive refining process), and can quickly be scaled up to enable the removal of CO2 in large quantities from the atmosphere (the evil airborne stuff responsible for global warming).  At the same time the process can produce lots of ethanol, already used as a fuel for generators and vehicles.

Now lets watch and see if the commercial interests that have $$$Billions to gain trying to solve the global warming problem, and keeping the world hooked on fossil fuels, will somehow get this new technology squashed.

Is this what Merle Haggard was singing about when he said the day would come when "We'll all be drinkin' that free bubble up, and eatin' that rainbow stew"?



  1. This was a non-stupid headline that I pulled for my Sunday post and my comment:

    Scientists Accidentally Discover Efficient Process to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol – Problem solved! I’ve been saying for a while if there is a problem, the solution is not in conservation and sacrifice, but for smart people to turn co2 into something useful.

  2. I just read about this and hope a cleaner energy source will be the result.

  3. That would be good, but it could be too late.

  4. Aren't you automatically a geek if you read Popular Mechanics?

    1. Well, umm....maybe a little, since you put it that way. ;)