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Researcher at Canadian university can turn carbon dioxide into fuel

Research at the University of Waterloo could have game-changing implications.

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Ali Taghva Montreal QC
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Research at the University of Waterloo could have game-changing implications.

According to a study published today in the journal Nature Energy, a researcher at the University of Waterloo has produced a method to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuel using sunlight.  Engineering Professor Yimin Wu has said the process is similar to photosynthesis, leading to the name “artificial leaf.”

According to Wu, the research providing the “artificial leaf” could be used by oil, steel and automotive companies to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

While the research is interesting, it can go further. The current next steps in advancing it include increasing the methanol yield and commercializing the patented process to convert carbon dioxide collected from major greenhouse gas sources. This includes power plants, vehicles and oil drilling.

“I’m extremely excited about the potential of this discovery to change the game,” said Wu, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and a member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. “Climate change is an urgent problem and we can help reduce CO2 emissions while also creating an alternative fuel.”

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