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.
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.”
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201202320
Jürgen Klankermayer | Angewandte Chemie
Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."
Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
05.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Life Sciences
08.12.2017 | Information Technology
08.12.2017 | Information Technology