An exciting research project is taking place at MIT that could greatly increase the efficency of power grids and reduce CO2 emissions. Researchers have discovered that by adding just a few nano-particles of gold to copper, the rate at which copper can convert CO2 to fuel rapidly inreases. Copper is one of the few metals that can change CO2 into hydrocarbon fuel without lots of energy. If implemented, powerplants would be able to take CO2 waste and reuse it to power the plant, instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.
Gold makes copper more stable because it is resistant to oxidation and corrosion. With just pure copper, the reaction takes much longer and runs the risk of producing carbon dioxide and folic acid. Only a little gold is needed to help copper along, and elimates the dangerous by products. This exciting discovery could mean big changes for power usage to be cleaner and less greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.