The third smallest sovereign nation in the world has just made an enormous contribution to relieving the world’s debt to the environment. Singapore researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have discovered how to turn carbon dioxide into methanol…. Double take: They have found a way to make greenhouse gas green. Triple take: They took the biggest contributor to the world’s carbon footprint and converted it into a source of clean energy for the world. Astounding.
In case you’re not jumping out of your skin yet, the IBN research was immediately sent to Angewandte Chemie, published by the German Chemical Society, and the prestigious journal called it a "hot paper," and "very important."
In layman’s terms, what IBN researchers discovered is that if they used N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), an organic catalyst, as opposed to heavy metal catalysts, carbon dioxide is activated, a state which it must be in to transform it into something useful.