Greenhouse Gases Converted to Fuel
Key Challenges: An important strategy for reducing global CO2 emissions calls for capturing the greenhouse gas and converting it to fuels and chemicals. Although researchers working toward that goal demonstrated in 1992 such a reaction in the lab, a key outstanding scientific challenge was explaining the details of how the reaction took place - its "mechanism."
Why it Matters: An important potential strategy for reducing global CO2 emissions calls for capturing the greenhouse gas and converting it electrochemically to fuels and chemicals.
Accomplishments: Computation to explain how carbon dioxide can be converted to small organic molecules with little energy input. The reaction mechanism revealed through computation at NERSC is viewed as being particularly valuable for the design and development of new technologies that would generate fuels with a carbon-neutral footprint.