Chemists have figured out a new and more efficient way to convert CO2 (carbon dioxide) to create carbon-based fuels. In chemical reactions performed in the lab, the team has identified a new additive that helps selectively convert CO2 into fuels containing multiple carbon atoms.

This can be a step toward making renewable liquid fuels that are not derived from coal or oil. Fuels with multiple carbon atoms are more desirable because they tend to be liquid and store more energy per volume than gaseous ones. For instance, propanol, which is liquid and contains three carbon atoms, stores more energy than methane, which is a gas and only has one carbon atom.

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