Carbon dioxide is a gas which has no color, odour and incombustible. It is a chemical compound consisting of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms and its molecular formula is given by CO2. The other names for CO2 are “carbonic anhydride and carbonic-acid gas”. Being the naturally occurring gas, some of the other sources of CO2 are as follows:
- Combustion of coal, coke and natural gas
- Fermentation of carbohydrates
- Reaction of acid with limestone or with other carbonates
- Carbonated beverages
- Various industries
CO2 is very harmful to the atmosphere and it is one of the green house gases which are responsible for the green house effect in the atmosphere. It is harmful to the living beings if there is rise in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. After the many researches held by the scientists, they finally founded a way to decreases the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. They are converting the CO2 into the usable fuel such as “methanol”. As the CO2 is chemically unreactive it is first converted into carbon monoxide (CO) and then to methanol. The process of converting CO2 into CO is carried out in three steps as follows:
- Firstly, the photons (the packets of light) are converted into negatively charged particles called electrons and the positively charged particles called holes will be separated from each other.
- Secondly, the holes formed in the first step get reacted with the water molecules results in producing protons and oxygen molecules.
- Thirdly, the electrons, protons and oxygen molecules formed in the above steps will be reacted together forming carbon monoxide (CO).
Finally this CO is converted into methanol using a catalyst called “tungsten diselenide”. This process is carried out by the artificial leaf invented by the scientists.