Researchers from the University of Cambridge have made significant progress in capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes and the atmosphere, converting it into clean and sustainable fuels. Using a solar-powered reactor, the team successfully transformed CO2 and plastic waste into syngas and glycolic acid, essential components for sustainable liquid fuels and cosmetic products, respectively. Unlike previous experiments, the researchers sourced CO2 directly from real-world industrial emissions and the air. While further enhancements are required for industrial-scale implementation, this breakthrough represents a crucial step towards producing clean fuels without relying on environmentally harmful oil and gas extraction. The team’s work builds upon artificial photosynthesis, aiming to achieve a circular economy and eliminate fossil fuels by actively capturing CO2 from industrial sources and the atmosphere.
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