Researchers Find Black Nano Gold Can Convert CO2 Emissions to Fuel

Researchers at TIFR were able to use black nano gold to convert CO2 to fuel and purify seawater.
Donna Fuscaldo
Molecular structure BlackJack3D/iStock

A team of researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research have developed black gold nanoparticles that can convert CO2 to fuel and purify seawater to drinkable water. 

In a research paper recently published the scientists said the golden gold was transformed into black gold by altering the gold nanoparticles and changing the distance between them.  Thanks to solar energy the black nano gold could act as a method to convert CO2 to fuel and purify salt water and thus be used to fight global warming. 


Black Gold Acts as Artificial Tree

"Similar to the real trees, which use CO2, sunlight and water to produce food, the developed black gold acts like an artificial tree that uses CO2, sunlight and water to produce fuel, which can be used to run our cars," wrote the researchers in the report. "Notably, black gold can also be used to convert sea water into drinkable water using the heat that black gold generates after it captures sunlight." 

The researchers cautioned that at the current stage the production rate of fuel is low but over the next few years those challenges will be overcome. "We may be able to convert CO2 to fuel using sunlight at atmospheric condition, at a commercially viable scale and CO2 may then become our main source of clean energy," the researchers wrote.

Black Nano Gold has Uses in all CO2 Emitting Industries

In an interview to discuss the work, Vivek Polshettiwar, lead author and associate professor, department of chemical sciences, TIFR said there will come a day when companies will face taxes due to CO2 emissions and that all governments will have to discover ways to capture and convert CO2. “Black nano gold will be useful since all industries emit CO2," he said. 

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The work of researchers at TIFR is taking on new meaning as report after report comes out warning about the planet which is getting hotter. Last week the Crowther Lab in Switerzland warned that 77% of the cities around the globe will face climate change in the years to come with 22% of cities encountering weather conditions that don't even exist today. 

The most dramatic change will occur in cities in northern latitudes with the climate in 2050 resembling the current climate of cities that are more than 1,000 kilometers south today.  Take London for one example. According to the research by 2050, it will have weather similar to Barcelona.  Meanwhile, New York weather will be similar to Virginia Beach while Seattle will have weather similar to San Francisco today.