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After studying displacement at school, I wondered if it is possible to reduce the toxic gas of carbon monoxide to less harmful and more useful substances, like so:

Carbon monoxide + metal -> Carbon + metal oxide

Where the metal is of course more reactive than carbon, higher in the reactivity series, and so would displace it.

Is this chemically possible, or does it require too much energy? Forgive me if I appear foolish, but I just wonder if it could actually happen.

After researching extensively online, the main things which come up in searches are reduction of carbon dioxide, rather than carbon monoxide.

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    $\begingroup$ This must be possible with at least some metals, in that it won't require too much energy. But it will require too much money. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Feb 18 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ Oh right, that's interesting. Why would it be expensive? And would using something like aluminium work? As it's more reactive than carbon. $\endgroup$ – monsieuralfonse64 Feb 18 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ You don't have pure CO. You have a ton of CO2 and a little CO, and your metal is going to reduce both (at best). $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Feb 18 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ Oh right. I was thinking more electrochemical reduction of something like smoke, which has a really high CO percentage in comparison to CO2. But would this fail too? $\endgroup$ – monsieuralfonse64 Feb 18 at 23:14
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    $\begingroup$ Smoke hardly ever has all that much CO, not to mention having a lot of O2. If you had pure CO some pretty interesting stuff can be made from it via reduction with alkali metals. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Feb 18 at 23:17

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