Peter Kelly
Clearly, this is an astonishing discovery, but until there is a vast surplus of 'clean' electricity then it certainly won't address CO2 issues. If it is to be of even minor use, though, depends upon how ethanol is normally created and the energy that production consumes. If it's less energy efficient than this then we could see a saving within ethanol production, but that is surely just a tiny contributor to the CO2 problem.
Rick3
Would reduce CO2, but it's not entirely "green" as the use of the ethanol will generate further CO2 - unless you can capture that as well... ?
JamieFrew
Excellent results but, this seems a bit too good to be true. This seems like a major discovery yet it has been published in an almost unknown journal. Surely this would be worthy of a Nature publication. I suspect that these findings are more complicated than the article suggests
Nik
As CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas, and never has been, during human existence, extracting it from the air is pointless, and potentially dangerous. There is far more CO2 stored in the oceans, which would make a more effective source of supply. However, growing forests in desert areas, and using the wood as a source of energy would be far more beneficial, as this would increase oxygen output, and help cool the atmosphere simultaneously.
Science and Econ
The current level of CO2 in our atmosphere is around 400 ppm, which is far too low for excellent plant growth. 5,000 ppm would be a better level for all plants and animals to enjoy. Even 1,000 ppm would be worthy of celebration but is far away from the "CO2 starvation" levels of today.
VincentWolf
Boy is Nik misinformed and a misinformant. CO2 is the most significant green house gas in the atmosphere and is responsible for runaway heating on every planet in the Universe. Just go visit Venus if you don't believe that. As a Chemist I note you are so far off reality you might as well be from a different Universe entirely.
slarmas
400ppm is hardly a Co2 disaster. Wake me up when it gets to 1700ppm and I might yawn and roll over.
Robert in Vancouver
CO2 levels are near their lowest levels in 150 million years, and if we reduce CO2 by 20% there won't be enough for vegetation to survive. It's time to stop and think about trying to reduce CO2 without considering all of the consequences. Don't worry about questioning the man-made global warming religion, Al Gore and his partners at Goldman Sachs have already made billions from selling phony CO2 credits, so they'll be OK.
qwerrk
Talk about click-bait for a chemist! :D This is could be YUGE! Have to expect that development of practical applications will take many moons but if they can scale the technology to the point where it could capture and process all or most of the CO2 coming from fossil fuel power plants while maintaining a profitable energy balance, that is, consume only a small fraction of the electricity being produced, you got a winner, in effect, coal to electricity + ethanol.
ThierryLombry
Sorry but ethanol is not better for the health than CO2, read "Effects of ethanol (E85) versus gasoline vehicles on cancer and mortality in the United States" at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17612204