Feeds

Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 INTO BOOZE

Scrub air of greenhouse gas, get plastered to celebrate

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Electronics giant Panasonic is showing off its ambitious attempt to tackle global warming – with a plant-like machine that uses light to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere.

The Japanese biz's Artificial Photosynthesis System, which turns the greenhouse gas into organic material, differs from other attempts to mimic the behaviour of vegetation thanks to its ability to efficiently convert carbon dioxide.

Panasonic claimed that at efficiency levels of 0.2 per cent – that is, the energy proportion of synthesised materials to input light – the system is on a par with real plants.

Diginfo.tv has a handy video showing the boffinry in action.

The two-stage process begins by filling a nitride semiconductor photo-electrode with water and then exposing it to sunlight or artificial light. This light is absorbed and the water molecules react to free electrons, oxygen molecules and hydrogen ions.

The use of a nitride semiconductor is crucial as it is apparently able to excite the electrons to the high-energy state required to react with CO2.

The electrons then flow through wires to a metal catalyst. Here, they react with CO2 and hydrogen ions in a reduction reaction that produces mainly formic acid and other organic materials.

Panasonic chief researcher Satoshi Yotsuhashi told Diginfo that his team is able to conduct eight experiments at once, and is trying different materials and reactions with the aim of a more boozy outcome.

"When carbon dioxide reacts, the organic substances produced are of various kinds,” he said.

“Currently, the main substance produced is formic acid, but in the future, we'd like to produce even more useful substances, such as hydrocarbons or alcohol.”

The plan is to stick these machines in the vicinity of factories and power plants to absorb the waste carbon dioxide and turn it into ethanol. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.