“Our whole purpose is to move from laboratory experiments to real-world applications,” he said. “This is a real breakthrough that can take a waste gas — carbon dioxide — and use inexpensive catalysts to produce another source of energy at large-scale, while making a healthier environment.”
Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing the process closer to commercial viability. Amin Salehi-Khojin, UIC professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and his coworkers developed a unique two-step catalytic process that uses molybdenum disulfide and an ionic liquid to “reduce,” or transfer electrons, to carbon dioxide in a chemical reaction.
The new catalyst improves efficiency and lowers cost by replacing expensive metals like gold or silver in the reduction reaction. The study was published July 30 in the journal Nature Communications. The discovery is a big step toward industrialization, said Mohammad Asadi, UIC graduate student and co-first author on the paper.
“With this catalyst, we can directly reduce carbon dioxide to syngas without the need for a secondary, expensive gasification process,” he said. In other chemical-reduction systems, the only reaction product is carbon monoxide. The new catalyst produces syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide plus hydrogen.
The Latest on: Carbon dioxide to fuel
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The Latest on: Carbon dioxide to fuel
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