Unleash potential industrial uses of bulk chemicals

high efficiency CO2 consumption facilitates the reduction of the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and, consequently, to reduce the impact of the greenhouse effect.

The “CO2 Methanol Hydrogenation Demonstration Plant” of CNOOC Fudao Ltd. in Dongfang City, Hainan Province, China. This plant has a methanol production capacity of more than 5,000 tons/year using the Cu-based catalyst derived from layered double hydroxides developed by the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They were also developing industrial CO technology.2 hydrogenation to reduce olefins, aromatics, gasoline, jet fuel range hydrocarbons, etc. Image credit: Chinese Journal of Catalysis

The chemical use of CO2which refers to the conversion of CO2 in chemicals and liquid fuels with added value, has a clear and direct impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions and can significantly alleviate the energy crisis.

Direct conversion of CO2 into bulk chemicals and liquid fuels by heterogeneous catalysis using renewable H2 of H2O electrolysis could alleviate the problem of hydrogen storage and transport and reduce overreliance on fossil resources.

A team from the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI), part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently reported on their team’s recent work to develop high-performance heterogeneous catalysts for the conversion of CO2 and H2 to produce bulk chemicals like methanol, lower olefins, aromatics, range specific hydrocarbons (gasoline and jet fuel) and other chemicals with potential industrial applications.

The catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 to produce methanol has been well explored. Methanol is a practically important chemical intermediate among bulk chemicals. A Cu-based catalyst for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol was created in this study and exhibits high stability, product selectivity, and catalytic activity.

Using this catalyst, they worked with CNOOC Fudao Ltd. and China Chengda Engineering Co., Ltd. in 2020 to carry out an industrialization demonstration of 5,000 tonnes/year of CO2 hydrogenation in methanol for about 2400 hours with total CO2 conversion greater than 95% and a methanol selectivity greater than 97%.

The team also focused on CO2 hydrogenation to reduce olefins, aromatics, gasoline and jet fuel range hydrocarbons with possible industrial applications.

They also show how to achieve maximum target product selectivity and high catalyst stability simultaneously. They also clarify the relationship between the structure and performance of catalysts, the qualities of active sites, and the mechanism of the reaction occurring on various catalytic systems for CO2 hydrogenation.

After discussing the difficulties and prospects of the CO2 hydrogenation, the author suggested that to achieve industrialization, future research in this area should focus on scaling up the manufacture of catalytic materials and creating high-efficiency reactors.

Journal reference:

Zhou, Z. et al. (2022) Direct hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to produce bulk chemicals and liquid fuels via heterogeneous catalysis. Chinese Journal of Catalysis. doi:10.1016/S1872-2067(22)64107-X

Source: http://english.dicp.cas.cn/