What is a greenhouse gas?

Greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas that traps heat from the Earth's atmosphere. It absorbs net heat energy while radiating it back to the Earth known as the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, surface-level ozone, fluorinated gas, and nitrous oxide.

What is the greenhouse effect? And why is this a bad thing?

The greenhouse effect is the concentration of greenhouse gas that primarily affects our climate. It is the worldwide unnatural warming that adversely affects our environment.

Recently, a young scientist, Haotian Wang, of the Rice University made some adjustments to the electrocatalysis reactor that recycles carbon dioxide into fuel. The goal is to repurpose greenhouse gas into valuable fuels.

The electrocatalysis reactor is designed to efficiently reuse greenhouse gas and keep it from trapping heat in the atmosphere. This reactor is engineered to produce highly concentrated and purified formic acid.

What is formic acid?

Formic acid is the simplest form of carboxylic acid, a fuel-cell that can generate electricity. This is commonly used as an antibacterial agent and a preservative to most livestock feeds. 

Formic acid can be considered as an energy carrier, according to Wang. This fuel cell can be recycled and be useful once again. 

Wang joined Rice University last January 2019 and pursued technological advancements that can turn greenhouse gases into more useful and profitable products. In Wang's latest prototype, he used carbon dioxide as his reactor's feedstock. Surprisingly, it produced highly purified formic acid.

Pure formic acid solutions such as this can help boost technological advancements in commercial carbon dioxide conversion. In the most recent test conducted, the electrocatalysis reactor reached an energy conversion efficiency of more or less 42%. This means that almost half of the electrical energy of the Carbon Dioxide can be stored formic acid that can be turned into liquid fuel. 

Who would have thought that a common greenhouse gas can be useful and less harmful to the environment? 

It is amazing how greenhouse gases can be repurposed by an electrocatalysis reactor into pure liquid gas with the use of renewable electricity.

Let's start caring for the environment. Stop the greenhouse effect! Recycle greenhouse gases!