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Making CO2 a Useful Gas

From Climate Killer to Fuels and Polymers


Science Daily reports that researchers at Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum in Germany have discovered a catalyst that converts greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into ethylene.

It is a key source material for the chemical industry. A new article released by the university describes how plasma-treated copper can be used for this purpose.

Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum Professor Beatriz Roldan Cuenya led a team including PhD student Hemma Mistry from the Institute for Experimental Physics IV in Bochum.

EssentialChemicalIndustry.org defines Ethylene as “the most important organic chemical, by tonnage, that is manufactured. It is the building block for a vast range of chemicals from plastics to antifreeze solutions and solvents.”

 Dictionary.com defines Ethylene as “a colorless, flammable gas, C 2 H 4, having a sweet, unpleasant odor and taste, the first member of the ethylene series, usually obtained from petroleum and natural gas: used as an agent to improve the color of citrus fruits, in the synthesis of polyethylene, ethylene dibromide, ethylene oxide, and other organic compounds, and in medicine chiefly as an inhalation anesthetic.”

Journal Reference:

  1. Hemma Mistry, Ana Sofia Varela, Cecile S. Bonifacio, Ioannis Zegkinoglou, Ilya Sinev, Yong-Wook Choi, Kim Kisslinger, Eric A. Stach, Judith C. Yang, Peter Strasser, Beatriz Roldan Cuenya. Highly selective plasma-activated copper catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction to ethylene. Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 12123 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12123

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