Can Change CO2 Become Methanol?

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Scientists DOE or the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered a new catalytic system to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol which is the main commodity used to make a wide range of industrial chemicals and fuels. With significantly higher activity than other catalysts currently used, the new system is relatively easy to get because it uses carbon dioxide that is usually not very active role in these reactions.
Jose Rodriguez, who is a chemist at Brookhaven and leader of the study, said that developing an effective catalyst for the synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide can greatly expand the use of this abundant gas as a raw material economically. In fact, maybe it could be the future of these catalysts can be used to help reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gases by capturing carbon dioxide emitted from the combustion engine and the methanol-powered fuel cells, and recycling to synthesize new fuel.
The future course will be determined by a variety of factors, including economic, Rodriguez stressed that their basic research studies focusing on the science of how the invention works and the use of the catalysts of this knowledge to improve the activity and selectivity of them. The research team included scientists from Brookhaven, the University of Seville in Spain and the Central University of Venezuela explain their results in the May issue of Science dated August 1, 2014.
Because carbon dioxide is usually quite rarely used in chemical reactions and the weak interaction in the majority of the catalyst so it is difficult to understand. This study required a new use in the development of in-situ imaging and chemical fingerprinting techniques. This technique allows scientists to peer into the dynamic evolution of various catalysts because they operate in real time. Scientists also use computational modeling at the University of Seville and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to provide an overview of the molecular mechanism of the synthesis of methanol.
The team is very interested in exploring the catalyst consists of nanoparticles of copper and cheerful (cerium oxide), sometimes mixed with titania. Previous scientific studies with a catalyst such as a metal-oxide nanoparticles have shown remarkable reactivity in various reactions. In the study, the interface of the two types of nanoparticles is obviously important for the reactivity of a catalyst with a really effective site terbbentuk in the area where the two phases meet.
This study revealed that the catalyst metal component alone can not do all the chemical steps required for the production of methanol. Activation and most effective binding of carbon dioxide takes place at the interface between metal nanoparticles and the cerium-oxide or copper oxide in the catalytic system.
The resulting catalyst in turning carbon dioxide into methanol more than a thousand times faster than the plain copper particles and almost 90 times faster than the general copper or zinc oxide catalysts that are used by the industry.
This study illustrates the great benefits that can be obtained correctly in the interface properties of metal oxides in the catalyst for methanol synthesis. Alex Harris, chairman of the Department of Chemistry Brookhaven Lab said that this is a step that is very attractive and seem to need to create a new strategy for the design of highly active catalysts for the synthesis of alcohol and related molecules.
Jobs at Brookhaven Lab is supported by the DOE Office of Science. This study was also conducted at the University of Seville and funded by Ministrio de Economia y Competitividad Spain and the European Regional Development Fund. , Instituto de Tecnologia Venezolana para el Petroleo supported part of the work done at the Central University of Venezuela.

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