Earth Week and all, it's not too surprising to hear of San Diegans stretching their mental might and figuring out an effective way to convert carbon dioxide to fuel, but according to the University of California, San Diego, that's precisely what they've done. Clifford Kubiak and Aaron Sathrum have reportedly developed a prototype device "that can capture energy from the sun, convert it to electrical energy, and split carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen." Interestingly, this concept produces more than just an alternate source of fuel, as CO2 splitting also creates a "useful industrial chemical" in CO, and furthermore, helps reduce a greenhouse gas. Currently, they are building the device using a gallium-phosphide semiconductor, and while the existing rendition still requires "additional energy" outside of sheer sunlight for the process to work, they're hoping that the American Chemical Society will warm up to the idea and give 'em a helping hand.
[Via Physorg, thanks Richard N.]