Separately Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists have discovered a new catalytic system for converting carbon dioxide to methanol. The new system offers significantly higher activity than other catalysts now in use and the new system could make it easier to get normally unreactive CO2 to participate in these reactions. The resulting catalyst converts CO2 to methanol more than a thousand times faster than plain copper particles, and almost 90 times faster than a common copper/zinc-oxide catalyst currently in industrial use.
Highly reactive sites at interface of two nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products.
(H/T New Energy and Fuel)
Scanning tunneling microscope image of a cerium-oxide and copper catalyst (CeOx-Cu) used in the transformation of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) gases to methanol (CH3OH) and water (H2O). In the presence of hydrogen, the Ce4+ and Cu+1 are reduced to Ce3+ and Cu0 with a change in the structure of the catalyst surface
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