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Conversion of greenhouse gas to fuel

Scientists from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore (IBN) managed to discover the potential inherent in carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas, by turning it into a more useful product

Continental Boeing aircraft. Experiments were recently made to propel such planes with biofuel (source: Wikipedia)
Continental Boeing aircraft. Experiments were recently made to propel such planes with biofuel (source: Wikipedia)

The scientists report in the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie that through the use of organic catalysts in a mild and non-toxic process, they succeeded in turning carbon dioxide into methanol, an important industrial raw material that can also be used as a "clean" biofuel.

Organocatalysts are catalysts consisting of non-metallic elements found in organic compounds. An example of a catalyst from this family, where the catalysts are stable materials and easy to store, is the substance IMes (1,3-bis-(2,4,6 trimethylphenyl)imidazolylidene). They do not contain toxic heavy metals and can be produced easily and without high costs.

The scientists reacted carbon dioxide with N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), which are novel organocatalysts. Unlike heavy metal catalysts, which contain toxic and unstable components, these catalysts are stable - even in the presence of oxygen. Therefore, the reaction between carbon dioxide and these catalysts can occur in mild conditions and in dry air.

The researchers showed that only a small amount of these catalysts is required to initiate the beginning of the activity of the carbon dioxide in the reaction. "These catalysts have a huge capacity to activate and fix carbon dioxide. Our research can contribute to the transformation of excess carbon dioxide, which is created in the environment, into useful products such as methanol," says the lead researcher.

To the carbon dioxide activated by these catalysts is added the substance hydro-silane, a combination of silica and hydrogen, and the product of this reaction is converted to methanol by adding water in the process of hydrolysis.

The lead researcher explains: "Hydro-silane provides hydrogen, which binds to carbon dioxide through a redox reaction. This reduction of carbon dioxide is efficiently catalyzed by our catalysts even at room temperature. Methanol can be easily obtained from this process.

In our previous studies of these substances, we discovered their multiple applications as antioxidant agents in the fight against degenerative diseases, and as effective catalysts in the conversion of sugars into an alternative source of energy. We have now proven that these catalysts can also be successfully used in the conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol, thereby helping to release the potential inherent in this gas."

In previous attempts to recycle carbon dioxide into more useful products, larger amounts of energy and longer reaction times were required. They also required transition metal catalysts, which are both expensive and unstable in oxygen. Active research at the institute is now trying to find cheaper alternatives to the hydro-silane reagents so that large-scale industrial production of methanol can become even cheaper.

University researchers announcement

8 תגובות

  1. The hidden weak point in the study is the energy. You need a high energy substance (electron donor) that will convert the carbon dioxide into methanol. In order to create the same electron donor, you need to invest energy, for example by burning (oxidizing) methanol which creates new carbon dioxide. Because of the law of conservation of energy, more carbon dioxide will be created due to the burning than the process in question will consume, or alternatively will burn more ethanol than will be produced. In short, a nice process that can raise quite a bit of money for research, but doesn't solve any problem.

  2. Since consumers have a clear interest in collecting the carbon dioxide to recycle it as fuel, I believe they would prefer to install the collection facilities in their chimneys. There is a valuable economic motive here.

  3. Let's assume that the chemical idea is indeed true, works, is real.
    The question arises, how will all the excess carbon dioxide already dispersed in the atmosphere be collected? After all, it is not possible to connect a conversion device to any chimney or exhaust pipe
    A cow's hindquarters (as I remember it was published about a year ago and more
    Because, herds of cows, mainly in South America, are responsible for about 9% of the amount of carbonaceous pollutants in the atmosphere).
    This problem reminds me of the oil usage problem
    Used by restaurants, for the purpose of using it as cheap fuel. Also
    There the problem is in the collection.

  4. If it really worked, it wouldn't be advertised. The whole goal is to attract investors and budgets.

  5. And for all the recent research that gained momentum, we have to thank the group of permissive and greedy camels from the desert who raised oil prices to the point where everyone lost their minds and their black drug.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you !!

  6. The day when a car will move that will consume air, generate fuel and move is coming.

    The research sounds too generic to me

  7. Here is an effective way in the future to place recovery facilities on factory chimneys, where the gas concentration is high and there is little oxygen. The product is usable, the pollution is reduced - everyone is greener and richer.

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