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New Study – A Novel Approach to Cut Back Carbon Dioxide into Methane by Catalysis

An increasing number of scientists are looking for cost-efficient and quick ways to convert carbon dioxide gas into necessary chemicals and fuels.

An international staff of researchers has published a brand new strategy that makes use of a series of catalytic reactions to electrochemically cut back carbon dioxide to methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, excreting an intermediate step usually wanted in the reduction process.

The team’s outcomes were published within the journal Nature Communications. Two of the research authors are based at UD: Xu and postdoctoral associate Xiaoxia Chang. Another Research author, Qi Lu of Tsinghua University in China, was formerly a postdoctoral associate in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at UD.

To convert carbon dioxide into precious fuels, you have to start with a surface made of copper, the metallic well-known for its use in pennies and electrical wiring. Copper can be utilized to cut back carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which may then be additionally transformed into substances similar to methane. This method is relatively easy, but it requires two reactors and costly separation and purification steps.

The research team used computations and experiments to design a one-pot catalysis system. Add carbon dioxide, and a sequence of chemical reactions will occur without the need to stop and add extra chemicals.

To do that, the team added particular nanostructured silver surfaces, which have been developed by Lu when he was a postdoctoral affiliate at UD from 2012 to 2015, to the copper surfaces. The silver portion attracts carbon monoxide molecules, which then transfer to the copper portion and reduce to methane. The system yields a higher concentration of methane than copper-only systems.