Carbon is a very productive thing and found in abundance in oil and coal. These energy source materials are used to produce many useful things like fuel, plastics, paints, detergents, pharmaceuticals and many others; this is long list. But unfortunately, the big percentage of this carbon dioxide could not be used for productive results and ends up going into air out of chimneys and is totally useless. This amount of carbon changes the climate and affects it badly.
Is this gas totally useless? This is a question. Scientists are researching and trying to develop technologies and processes to make maximum use of it especially in the production of items derived from oil.
CO2 is a good replacement of poisonous gas phosgene; which is used in the manufacturing of certain plastics. If this is practically adopted it would be great. This was said in the report released by Toshiyasu Sakakura of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Tsukuba, Japan) at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Sakakura and his fellow scientists succeeded in developing a new catalyst; which could replace phosgene used in producing plastic precursor. This new substance can perform same as phosgene do and converts CO2 and methanol into plastic product. Phosgene is a colorless poisonous gas and is gained from Petroleum. It is a nasty compound and was broadly used in World War I as a chemical warfare agent.
Sakakura said that in the experiments this gas did not produce much waste. He further said that the waste was just water therefore it will not pollute the environment very much.
Sakakura and his research team also did their research work on making other types of plastics. They found that the CO2 is having the capacity to chemically react with epoxide (a class of chemicals); and makes new compounds. Their reaction makes a substance called polycarbonate; which is a tough and clear plastic material. Polycarbonate is highly used in the manufacturing process of compact discs, eyeglass lenses, bulletproof windows and other durable and sensitive plastic products.
Thomas Muller of the CAT (Catalytic Center in Aachen, Germany) pointed out the fact that it would be really difficult to put CO2 to production again because discharged gas is low in energy and is difficult to handle also. As it is the fact, that this is a gas emptied from energy after passing through the combustion process. This low energy molecule needs other substances to act as a source of energy for it. This could be methane or epoxide. This will produce durable and higher-energy plastic materials like Polycarbonate.