A revolutionary idea of how to breakdown one of the most harmful gases has come to a head. Researchers thought to convert CO2 rather than capture and store it. They believed it to be a better way to keep it out of the atmosphere, and they recently put this idea into action.
An idea comes to life
Researchers in France and Argentina came together to discover that CO2 could be converted into methane through a photochemical process. In a study published in _Nature, _they explain that by exposing a CO2 solution to sunlight for several hours, the CO2 converts into methane, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. These gases, more specifically methane, can be used as fuel.
The difference between the gases
Methane is considered a much cleaner energy than CO2. It releases a much smaller percentage of pollutants than CO2. It is also only responsible for 9% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, whereas CO2 is responsible for 82%.
The problem with this picture is that methane is 30 times more potent as a heat trapping gas than CO2. So although it emits less, its emissions are way more potent than those of CO2.
The future of the idea
This idea is still in the works. They are still figuring out how to catch CO2 from the air itself, as well as how to properly and safely transport and store the methane.
Although it is a work in progress, it is a work in the right direction. We need to reduce our emissions drastically in order to stop the rapid incline of global temperature. And converting the emissions may be another way we can look to in the future as a viable solution.