A British-Chinese team of scientists has created a new bowl-shaped electrode with ‘hot edges’ for converting CO2 gas into carbon-based fuels and chemicals.
The scientists from the University of Bath, Fudan University, and the Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, hope the new catalyst design will help neutralize the threat posed by CO2 gases.
The electrode offers higher conversion efficiency and sensitive detection of molecules created along the reaction’s progress, mainly due to its innovative construction and shape.
According to the scientists, the bowl-shaped electrode has been proven to work six times faster than standard planar – or flat – designs.
The design – technically known as an ‘inverse opal structure’ – concentrates electric fields on its hot edges or the rim of the bowl.
It then concentrates positively charged potassium ions on the active sites of the reaction, reducing its energy requirements.
According to the scientists, the Copper-Indium alloy electrode can also be useful to sensitively study the reaction process via measuring the Raman signal, which is higher compared to a typical electrode.
Shedding light on the new development, Bath professor Ventsislav Valev said: ““There is no more pressing human need than breathing. Yet for hundreds of million people this most basic activity is a source of anxiety over lowering life expectancy, rising child mortality and climate change.”
“There is evidence that CO₂ increases surface ozone, carcinogens, and particulate matter, thereby increasing death, asthma, hospitalization, and cancer rates.”
“It is therefore crucial to keep researching new ways for lowing the CO₂ levels in the atmosphere.”
Image and content: Pixabay/University of Bath