Facebook PixelCould we change/add reactants so that burning fossil fuels (gasoline included) does not produce carbon dioxide?
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Could we change/add reactants so that burning fossil fuels (gasoline included) does not produce carbon dioxide?

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Shireesh Apte
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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General comments

jnikola2 years ago
I was recently looking for an additive that can reduce CO2 emissions since my car is an old one. I found some in my country, but I also found some internationally recognized (nanotechnology-based FuelGems, GreenPlus, Propelgol). However, none of these was based on Americium as you suggested.
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Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte2 years ago
J. Nikola Thanks. I am suggesting we research ways to make alternative reactions (that don't produce CO2) more thermodynamically favorable than the conventional combustion reaction that generates CO2 and H2O upon reacting a hydrocarbon with oxygen. I don't understand why this is not an active area of research.
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