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  • dadnorris1 Mar 2, 2013 5:50 PM Flag

    Recycling CO2 is advocated by George A. Olah, 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on carbocation and hydrocarbon chemistry.

    Recycling CO2 is advocated by George A. Olah, professor of chemistry and director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute at the University of Southern California, and winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on carbocation and hydrocarbon chemistry. Hydrocarbons for the 21st Century - The work of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute.

    Published in Chemical and Engineering News, Dr. Olah said:

    "From plant life over the ages, new fossil fuels can be formed. The process is so slow, however, that within our human life span we do not have time for nature to replenish what we are rapidly using up. A challenging new approach that we are pursuing is to reverse the process and produce hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide and water via methanol, thus chemically recycling carbon dioxide. In the laboratory, we already know how to do this, and progress is being made toward bringing about the feasibility of such an approach. The limiting factor is the energy needed for generating hydrogen from water. Using alternative energy sources–but first of all atomic energy, albeit improved and made safer–will eventually give us needed energy."

    "Much is said these days about a hydrogen economy, emphasizing hydrogen as the clean, inexhaustible fuel of the future. However, the safe handling and dispensing of volatile hydrogen–for which no infrastructure exists–is difficult and costly."

    "I believe a much preferable way of storing hydrogen is in the form of methyl alcohol (methanol economy). Methanol is a convenient liquid that can be produced by reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It can be catalytically converted into ethylene and propylene and through them to higher hydrocarbons. This can provide an inexhaustible source of hydrocarbon products and fuels, which are now obtained from oil and gas. Furthermore, in recent years, with colleagues at California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we have also developed a new, direct methanol

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