Extracting carbon nanofibers from carbon dioxide


Carbon is an important substance in materials science due to the special mechanical and other properties of carbon (nano )fibers. Carbon is, on the other hand, a part of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Thus it is most interesting that researchers found an easy method now to synthesize carbon nanofibers from atmospheric carbon dioxide in a one-pot process. The molten electrolysis process is inexpensive and leads to uniform, compact carbon fibers, while common carbon nanofiber productions requires high production energies. The fiber structure can be tailored by the electrolysis conditions, e.g. the addition of nickel nucleation sites, inclusion of other materials, etc.

In this way, the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide can be turned into the base material for carbon nano fibers which can be used for diverse applications, due to their unique mechanical and electrical properties.


J. Ren, F.-F. Li, J. Lau, L. González-Urbina, and S. Licht
One-Pot Synthesis of Carbon Nanofibers from CO2
Nano Lett., online first (2015)