A research team from Caltech and the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has demonstrated a promising way to efficiently convert carbon dioxide into ethylene—an important chemical used to produce plastics, solvents, cosmetics and other important products globally.
The scientists developed nanoscale copper wires with specially shaped surfaces to catalyze a chemical reaction that reduces greenhouse gas emissions while generating ethylene—a valuable chemical simultaneously. Computational studies of the reaction show the shaped catalyst favors the production of ethylene over hydrogen or methane. A study detailing the advance was published in Nature Catalysis.
“We are at the brink of fossil fuel exhaustion, coupled with global climate change challenges,” said Yu