by University of Illinois Chicago, Sep 9, 2022 in ScienceDaily
A team of researchers led by Meenesh Singh at University of Illinois Chicago has discovered a way to convert 100% of carbon dioxide captured from industrial exhaust into ethylene, a key building block for plastic products.
Their findings are published in Cell Reports Physical Science.
While researchers have been exploring the possibility of converting carbon dioxide to ethylene for more than a decade, the UIC team’s approach is the first to achieve nearly 100% utilization of carbon dioxide to produce hydrocarbons. Their system uses electrolysis to transform captured carbon dioxide gas into high purity ethylene, with other carbon-based fuels and oxygen as byproducts.
The process can convert up to 6 metric tons of carbon dioxide into 1 metric ton of ethylene, recycling almost all carbon dioxide captured. Because the system runs on electricity, the use of renewable energy can make the process carbon negative.