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News > Science and Tech

Chilean Scientists Propose Turning CO2 Into Fuel

  • Heavy air pollution in Chile.

    Heavy air pollution in Chile. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 August 2018

The research team believes this innovation can help reduce pollution.

Scientists at the University of Chile, the country’s premier public university, have proposed capturing CO2 emissions to produce fuel. The project aims to capture CO2 and create methane, which can be used as a synthetic form of natural gas.

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“Our work seeks to use CO2 emitted into the atmosphere and with it produce methane, which can be reutilized as synthetic natural gas. Our data confirm that with that method we can produce five times more fuel than before,” researcher Francisco Garcia, of the Department of Engineering, Chemistry, Biotechnology and Materials explained.

Earlier this month they published a paper titled “CO2 Methanation Over Nickel-ZrO2 Catalyst Supported on Carbon Nanotubes: A Comparison Between Two Impregnation Strategies” detailing how the project would work in the magazine Applied Catalysis B: Environmental.

The interdisciplinary research team included professors based in Colombia and Spain.  

They believe creating a device based on their research could have a tremendously positive impact on reducing pollution.

“Our aspiration is to consolidate this information in the development of a catalytic system that allows us to develop a compact device, similar to the catalytic converters of gasoline vehicles, which could be installed in boiler chimneys or thermoelectric plants to reduce CO2 emissions, taking advantage of it as energy raw material,” Garcia said.

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