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The general public knows the chemical compound of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and because of its global-warming effect. However, carbon dioxide can also be a useful raw material for chemical reactions. A working group at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has now reported on this unusual application in the ChemSusChem journal. They are using carbon dioxide as a raw material to produce graphene, a technological material which is currently the subject of intense study.

The combustion of fossil fuels such as coal and oil produces energy for electricity, heat and mobility, but it also leads to an increase of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and therefore to global warming. Cutting this causal chain is what motivates scientists to search for alternative energy sources but also for alternative uses of carbon dioxide. One possibility could be to see carbon dioxide as an inexpensive raw material for the synthesis of valuable materials, feeding it back into the reusability cycle -- maybe even in a profitable way.

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Category: Science