South Korean researchers develop new way to produce biofuel from CO2

November 24, 2016 |

In South Korea, researchers at UNIST uncovered new ways to make biofuel from carbon dioxide (CO2), the most troublesome greenhouse gas. In their paper published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, the team presented direct CO2 conversion to liquid transportation fuels by reacting with renewable hydrogen (H2) generated by solar water splitting.

The currently existing catalysts, used for the reactions of H2 with CO2 are limited mostly to low molecular weight substances, such as methane or methanol. Besides, due to the low value of these catalysts, the reduction effects of CO2 is generally low. However, the new delafossite-based catalyst, presented by UNIST research team converts CO2 into liquid hydrocarbon-based fuels (e.g., diesel fuel) in one single step. These fuel samples can be, then, used by existing diesel vehicles, like trucks and buses.

This new delafossite-based catalyst, composed of inexpensive, earth-abundant copper and steel is used in a reaction between CO2 emissions of industrial plants and H2 generated from solar hydrogen plant to produce diesel.

This direct CO2-FT synthesis is different from the German car maker Audi’s CO2-to-dielsel conversion process, which actually involves two steps – reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction to CO followed by CO Fisher-Tropsch (FT) synthesis.

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Category: Research

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