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Carbon dioxide captured from air converted directly to methanol fuel for the first time

They’re making fuel from thin air at the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute.

For the first time, researchers there have directly converted carbon dioxide from the air into methanol at relatively low temperatures.

The work, led by G.K. Surya Prakash and George Olah of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is part of a broader effort to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by using renewable energy to transform the greenhouse gas into its combustible cousin – attacking global warming from two angles simultaneously. Methanol is a clean-burning fuel for internal combustion engines, a fuel for fuel cells and a raw material used to produce many petrochemical products.

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