Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CO2 as a Carbon Source?

16.07.2012
Homogeneous catalysis: ruthenium phosphine complex hydrogenates carbon dioxide to make methanol

Fossil-based resources are declining and their use releases the greenhouse gas CO2. Both of these problems could be significantly mitigated if we could use CO2 as a carbon source for the production of fuels and chemical feedstocks.

Various different approaches are currently being explored for the catalytic conversion of CO2 to methanol (CH3OH). In the journal Angewandte Chemie, German researchers have now introduced a new possibility to conduct this stepwise reaction of CO2 in solution with help of a homogeneous catalyst.

Methanol and its products can not only be used as a fuel or for driving fuel cells, they are also a versatile feedstock for chemical industry. The conventional industrial process for the production of methanol starts with syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide obtained from fossil resources. The process requires extremely high pressures and temperatures, involving a heterogeneous catalyst, which is a solid and therefore in a different phase than the gaseous or liquid educts and products.

A number of approaches for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to methanol (CH3OH) have been developed. The big challenge for catalytic researchers is not only to activate the very stable CO2 molecule but also to catalyze the multistep conversion to methanol. Tailored catalysts are the key to enable the activation of this poorly reactive C1 building block.

Scientists from the RWTH Aachen have pursued a new approach to obtain methanol by the hydrogenation of CO2 with elemental hydrogen. While most previous methods use heterogeneous catalysts, this process is homogeneous. This means that the catalyst and the reactants are in the same phase, a solution. Homogeneous catalysis often require milder reaction conditions and the targeted development of the catalyst often enables a better selectivity. However, a homogeneous metal complex that is able to catalyze the multistep conversion of CO2 and hydrogen into methanol has not yet been reported.

The team led by Jürgen Klankermayer and Walter Leitner has now developed a tailored catalyst for this complex conversion, namely a special ruthenium phosphine complex. The catalyst is dissolved in a solvent, in the simplest case in methanol itself, and put under pressure together with CO2 and hydrogen in an autoclave. It subsequently connects a molecule of CO2 in a stepwise fashion with three molecules of hydrogen to produce methanol and water.

“This is the first example of the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol by use of a molecularly defined catalyst under relatively mild reaction conditions,” explain Leitner and Klankermayer. “We are now investigating in detail how the reaction works in order to develop our catalyst further.”

About the Author
Dr Jürgen Klankermayer is Professor at the Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry (ITMC) at the RWTH Aachen University, leading the group “Mechanisms in Catalysis”. His research includes the topics mechanisms in catalysis, NMR spectroscopy in catalysis, asymmetric catalysis, application of ionic liquids in catalysis, fuels and chemicals from biomass, as well as sustainable industrial chemistry.
Author: Jürgen Klankermayer, RWTH Aachen University (Germany), http://www.tc.rwth-aachen.de/aw/cms/TC/Zielgruppen/~vfu/prof_klankermayer/?lang=en
Title: Hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol by Using a Homogeneous Ruthenium–Phosphine Catalyst

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201202320

Jürgen Klankermayer | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

Further reports about: Angewandte Chemie CH3OH CO2 Homogeneous RWTH ionic liquid

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>