Novel catalysis approach reduces carbon dioxide methane

Novel catalysis approach reduces carbon dioxide to methane

11:26 AM, 5th August 2019
This special surface of copper and silver is important for achieving the series of chemical reactions in the system the team designed.
This special surface of copper and silver is important for achieving the series of chemical reactions in the system the team designed.

A growing number of scientists are looking for fast, cost-effective ways to convert carbon dioxide gas into valuable chemicals and fuels.

Now, an international team of researchers has revealed a new approach that utilizes a series of catalytic reactions to electrochemically reduce carbon dioxide to methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, eliminating an intermediate step usually needed in the reduction process.

“We want to supply renewable electricity and take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to something else in one step,” said Bingjun Xu, a University of Delaware assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. “This is a key contribution to this vision.”

The team’s results were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Two of the study authors are based at UD: Xu and postdoctoral associate Xiaoxia Chang. Another study author, Qi Lu of Tsinghua University in China, was formerly a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UD.

The paper’s authors also include Haochen Zhang from Tsinghua University, Jingguang Chen from Columbia University, William Goddard III from the California Institute of Technology and Mu-Jeng Cheng from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.

A one-pot system

To convert carbon dioxide into valuable fuels, you have to start with a surface made of copper, the metal famous for its use in pennies and electrical wiring. Copper can be used to reduce carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can then be further transformed into substances such as methane. This process is relatively simple, but it requires two reactors and costly separation and purification steps.

The research team used computations and experiments to design a one-pot catalysis system. Add carbon dioxide, and a series of chemical reactions will happen without the need to stop and add more chemicals. 

To do this, the team added special nanostructured silver surfaces, which were developed by Lu when he was a postdoctoral associate at UD from 2012 to 2015, to the copper surfaces. The silver portion attracts carbon monoxide molecules, which then migrate to the copper portion and reduce to methane. The system yields a higher concentration of methane than copper-only systems.

“In this work the primary novelty is to combine these two in a configuration so that several steps of reaction could occur in one system,” said Xu. “We systematically modified the composition, the silver-to-copper ratio in the structure. Those are key to the selectivity and ability to combine the reactions.”

Previous attempts to combine copper with precious metal in this way have failed, but the group developed a special type of electrode structure that enabled the system. The research was the result of a collaborative effort with research groups contributing spectroscopy, computation, and studies of the reactivity of materials.

Source: University of Delaware

0 Comments

Login

Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News


SDK develops technology to directly bond aluminium alloys & polycarbonate resin

TOKYO, JAPAN: Showa Denko has developed an innovative technology to directly join/bond aluminium alloys and polycarbonate resin—a commodity amor ...

Read more
Cipla in talks to invest in e-pharmacy startup Medlife

BENGALURU/MUMBAI, INDIA: Drug major Cipla is in talks to invest in online healthcare platform Medlife, three people aware of the discussions said, in ...

Read more
Chemours acquires mining operations of Southern Ionics Minerals

WILMINGTON, US: The Chemours Company has acquired Southern Ionics Minerals LLC (SIM), a minerals exploration, mining, and manufacturing company headqu ...

Read more
Total to sell interest in Trapil Pipeline for €260 million

PARIS, FRANCE: Total SA has signed an agreement to sell a 30 percent interest in Societe des Transports Petroliers par Pipelines (Trapil) to Pisto SAS ...

Read more
Carboxymethyl cellulose demand to drive acetic acid market: Report

Increasing carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) demand from the US pharmaceutical industry in the preparation of drugs in the form of disintegrants will help ...

Read more
Plastics Industry Association appoints new president and CEO

WASHINGTON, US: The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has named Tony Radoszewski president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective Septemb ...

Read more
www.worldofchemicals.com uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. X