Study finds way to generate chemicals from captured carbon dioxide


Study finds way to generate chemicals from captured carbon dioxide


Scientists at the University of Surrey have developed a new technology to convert CO2 captured from the atmosphere into useful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and synthetic natural gas.

“Capturing CO2 from the surrounding air and directly converting it into useful products is exactly what we need to approach carbon neutrality in the chemicals sector,” said Dr Melis Duyar, senior lecturer of Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey.

Currently, chemical production relies on fossil fuels which are not sustainable.

The technology could help the U.K. march toward its 2050 net-zero goals.

 “With this technology we can supply chemicals with a much lower carbon footprint and look at replacing fossil fuels with carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen as the building blocks of other important chemicals,” Dr. Melis Duyar added.

The chemicals synthesis technology uses switchable Dual Function Materials (DFMs) that can both capture carbon dioxide and catalyze its chemical transformations.

Such materials are "switchable" because they can produce multiple chemical products depending on the operating conditions or the composition of the reactant. This allows the technology to respond to demand for chemicals and the availability of renewable hydrogen as a reactant.

"Not only does this research demonstrate a viable solution to the production of carbon neutral fuels and chemicals, but it also offers an innovative approach to combat the ever-increasing CO2 emissions contributing to global warming," added Loukia-Pantzechroula Merkouri, postgraduate student leading this research at the University of Surrey.

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