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Methanol synthesis from CO2 hydrogenation

Bowker, Michael ORCID: 2019. Methanol synthesis from CO2 hydrogenation. ChemCatChem 11 (17) , pp. 4238-4246. 10.1002/cctc.201900401

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In the future we will be phasing out the use of fossil fuels in favour of more sustainable forms of energy, especially solar derived forms such as hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic. However, due to the variable nature of the latter sources which depend on time of day, and season of the year, we also need to have a way of storing such energy at peak production times for use in times of low production. One way to do this is to convert such energy into chemical energy, and the principal way considered at present is the production of hydrogen. Although this may be achieved directly in the future via photocatalytic water splitting, at present it is electrolytic production which dominates thinking. In turn, it may well be important to store this hydrogen in an energy dense liquid form such as methanol or ammonia. In this brief review it is emphasised that CO2 is the microscopic carbon source for current industrial methanol synthesis, operating through the surface formate intermediate, although when using CO in the feed, it is CO which is hydrogenated at the global scale. However, methanol can be produced from pure CO2 and hydrogen using conventional and novel types of catalysts. Examples of such processes and of a demonstrator plant in construction are given, which utilize CO2 which would otherwise enter the atmosphere directly, and hydrogen produced in a sustainable manner. This is a fast‐evolving area of science and new ideas and processes will be developed in the near future.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1867-3880
Funders: EPSRC, UK Catalyst Hub (EPSRC)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 11 June 2019
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 08:06

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