Could we change/add reactants so that burning fossil fuels (gasoline included) does not produce carbon dioxide?
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Shireesh Apte May 26, 2022
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Burning gasoline, coal, or fossil fuels necessarily produce carbon dioxide and water because these products produce the largest decrease in the Gibbs free energy; i.e formation of these products is the most enthalpically and entropically favorable. Carbon dioxide is generally accepted to be a greenhouse gas thereby contributing to global warming.
If another reactant were to be added to this combustion reaction (fuel and oxygen) so that the production of carbon dioxide would no longer result in the most decrease in free energy, then combustion reactions would no longer produce the greenhouse gas - carbon dioxide; instead producing other more thermodynamically favorable products.
How it could work
Add the element Americium (an alpha emitter) in sufficient amounts to the SS-316 or SS-304 (steel) of the cylinders of any internal combustion engine, when the cylinders are being fabricated from molten steel. Adding americium (which is present in most smoke detectors) to the cylitnders releases alpha-particles (helium nuclei) into the combustion mixture of gasoline and air. This may change the overall thermodynamics of the reaction where carbon dioxide is no longer the most enthalpically and entropically favored product. I have no idea if this would actually work, but it seems worthy of research.
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