Natural Copy Cat

According to this article about Natural copy cat, green plants extract carbon dioxide gas from the air and turn it into sugar molecules using sunlight and give off oxygen. Chemists, on the other hand, have yet to find an efficient method for converting carbon dioxide into materials that might be useful as fuels or in manufacturing. Almost all our efforts rely on complex reaction schemes to produce the starting materials and then are so inefficient that the end product costs far more to produce, in terms of energy and economics, it is worthless. Chemical activation of carbon dioxide involves splitting, or cleaving, it in a chemical reaction, the researchers explains. Splitting the CO2 basically releases carbon monoxide, a chemically reactive form, and oxygen free radicals that can then react with other molecules to produce more complex and potentially useful products. This cleavage process is one of the biggest challenges facing synthetic chemistry today. The problem with attempting to activate carbon dioxide is that the double bonds between the central carbon atom and its two flanking oxygen atoms are very strong and stable. A lot of energy is needed to pull them apart and cleave the molecule. Plants have had millions of years to evolve the most effective way to use sunlight to activate carbon dioxide, but chemists have only had a few decades and, until recently, have expended a lot of energy developing special metal catalysts, which can cleave carbon dioxide, but are notoriously inefficient.

Rodrigo Monsalve



Karen said...

Who posted this and what for??

chemistry 1045 said...

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