Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have found a way to turn climate-damaging CO2 into an alcohol that could serve as a raw material for the chemical industry – without producing large amounts of salt waste that usually arise.
The reaction mechanism is described by the team around Timo Wendling and Prof Dr Lukas Goossen together with a colleague of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in the journal “Chemistry – A European Journal”.
Converting carbon dioxide into an alcohol without causing unwanted waste products requires a two-step reaction. The problem: For energy reasons, the two partial reactions are virtually impossible to reconcile. In order to make the processes compatible from a thermodynamic point of view, suitable catalysts are needed to facilitate the partial reactions.
The team tested numerous substances and finally found two catalysts that had the required properties: a copper compound for the first reaction step and a rhodium/molybdenum compound for the second step. The exact composition and quantity of solvent in which the reaction took place was also crucial.
This is how the reaction works
In the first partial reaction, called carboxylation, the researchers coupled CO2 to a hydrocarbon compound. For this purpose, a proton (H+) is released from the hydrocarbon compound; the CO2 molecule docks at the vacant site, which results in an acid. The excess proton is taken up by a base. In the second step, called hydrogenation, the acid is converted to an alcohol through a transfer of protons. The base releases the previously taken proton and is thus recycled.
The team demonstrated the feasibility of this reaction with the hydrocarbon compound phenylacetylene. Further studies must show whether the principle can also be extended to other organic compounds.
With this catalyst system, the researchers achieved a recycling rate of 40 percent for the base. “This shows that the base is not destroyed during the reaction, but that the process must still be significantly improved to become usable on an industrial scale,” says Lukas Goossen, a member of the Excellence Cluster Ruhr Explores Solvation, Resolv in short. “We have taken a first important step towards harnessing CO2 for the chemical industry, which would be a great economic and environmental advantage.”
Learn more: Carbon dioxide as a raw material
The Latest on: CO2 to alcohol
via Google News
The Latest on: CO2 to alcohol
- J. Kenji López-Alt explains why a Dutch oven is the secret to a springier, crustier loaf of breadon November 19, 2020 at 11:10 pm
The chef, who also co-edited "The Best American Food Writing 2020," spoke to Salon to explain the science of bread ...
- New invention helps people sober up by exhaling alcoholon November 13, 2020 at 9:07 pm
Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for ... comprised of a gas mask connected to a supply of oxygen and carbon dioxide, employs a basic physiological means of reducing drunkenness.
- Breathing device sobers you up by hyperventilating the alcohol outon November 13, 2020 at 1:44 pm
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to damaging and even deadly ethanol poisoning in the body. Current treatment options are limited, but researchers may have discovered a new use for a device that ...
- Medical Discovery Could Be Game-changer To Reverse Alcohol Intoxicationon November 13, 2020 at 5:45 am
They used a device that allows the patient to hyperventilate off the alcohol while returning precisely the amount of carbon dioxide to the body to keep it at normal levels in the blood.
- Simple Method Could Reverse Alcohol Intoxicationon November 13, 2020 at 4:56 am
A proof of concept study demonstrates a simple method that could become a game-changer in rescue therapy for severe alcohol intoxication, as well as just ...
- Hyperventilating can help clear alcohol from body faster, researchers findon November 13, 2020 at 2:08 am
a group of Toronto researchers describe how hyperventilating into a device which regulates carbon dioxide levels can eliminate alcohol far faster than conventional treatments. The device is the ...
- A potential game-changer to reverse alcohol intoxicationon November 12, 2020 at 1:24 pm
When hyperventilating—breathing deeper and more rapidly than normal—the body eliminates carbon dioxide from the blood along with the alcohol. The decrease of this gas in the blood is the cause ...
- Simple Invention Helps You Sober Up by Exhaling Alcoholon November 12, 2020 at 9:32 am
Scientists in Canada say they’ve found a new way to treat potentially life-threatening alcohol intoxication—by helping people literally breathe out the alcohol in their system.
- Canadian researchers tout ‘game-changing’ method to treat alcohol poisoningon November 12, 2020 at 3:27 am
He says the process simply takes advantage of the fact that each exhalation, along with carbon dioxide, contains alcohol that has evaporated from the blood into the lungs. “And the more breaths ...
via Bing News