CO2-to-Methanol Using NHCs as Organocatalysts – Singapore Scientists

This entry was posted by Friday, 12 February, 2010
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Scientists in Singapore say they’ve found a way to turn carbon dioxide into methanol, a biofuel. How that might be applied to capturing the billions of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere remains to be seen.

Scientists in Singapore say they’ve found a low-temperature, low-energy way to turn carbon dioxide into methanol, providing a potential revenue stream for carbon capture projects in the form of a biofuel and industrial chemical output.

The researchers at Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology say the new process is a marked improvement over previous methods of turning the world’s major greenhouse gas into a useful product.

The new process uses d N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) as an organocatalyst, then adds hydrosilicane – a combination of silica and hydrogen – and water to make methanol, according to a study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.



One Response to “CO2-to-Methanol Using NHCs as Organocatalysts – Singapore Scientists”

  1. Duncan

    The process can be done at room temperatures in the presence of oxygen, unlike previously discovered methods using heavy metal catalysts with toxic and unstable components, the scientists said. The new process also uses much less energy and takes less time than previous methods.

    Finding a way to capture the billions of tons of carbon dioxide emitted from the world’s coal-fired power plants – which make up about half the world’s total emissions – and other sources is seen as a critical means of combating global warming.

    Transforming carbon dioxide into useful fuels could be a much sweeter way to get that job done, however.

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