Carbon dioxide used to create graphene by imitating plant enzyme

A team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) published a new study in the journal ChemSusChem which considers the possibility of using carbon dioxide to produce graphene.

According to the researchers, in fact, the carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere following the combustion of raw materials such as coal and oil can be used to synthesize precious materials. And it is not just about reducing air pollution: the process could lead to a new profitable sector.

Among other things, we already have an example in nature: chlorophyll photosynthesis made by plants combines carbon dioxide with water and light to create biomass, a cycle that researchers have been trying to reproduce for years. However, in this study, the researchers of the German institute have analyzed above all the enzyme based on metal RuBisCo.

This enzyme absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and makes it reusable for other chemical reactions in the plant. The researchers, trying to mimic the process carried out by this enzyme, are therefore trying to convert carbon dioxide into graphene.

The process involves temperatures up to 1000 ° F and particular catalytic preparations.

As Mario Ruben, professor at Molekulare Materialien explains, and one of the authors of the study, “if the metal surface shows the correct relationship between copper and palladium, the conversion of carbon dioxide into graphene will take place directly in a simple one-step process.”