Cleaner, cheaper procedure to convert carbon dioxide into methanol developed
Researchers have discovered a potentially clean, low-cost way to convert carbon dioxide into methanol, a key ingredient in the production of plastics, adhesives and solvents, and a promising fuel for transportation.
Scientists from Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark combined theory and experimentation to identify a new nickel-gallium catalyst that converts hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methanol with fewer side-products than the conventional catalyst.
"Methanol is processed in huge factories at very high pressures using hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from natural gas," study lead author Felix Studt, a staff scientist at SLAC, said.
"We are looking for materials than can make methanol from clean sources under low-pressure conditions, while generating low amounts of carbon monoxide," he said.
The ultimate goal is to develop a large-scale manufacturing process that is nonpolluting and carbon neutral using clean hydrogen, the authors said.
The findings are published online in the journal Nature Chemistry.
(Posted on 03-03-2014)