Converting CO 2 into raw materials using nanoparticles

September 28, 2019 |

In Germany, scientists at the Ruhr University Bochum and the University of New South Wales in Australia converted carbon dioxide into raw materials using nanoparticles. They looked at the principle for this from enzymes that produce complex molecules in many-step reactions. The team transferred this mechanism to metallic nanoparticles, also called nanozymes. For example, chemists created carbon dioxide from ethanol and propanol, which are common feedstocks for the chemical industry.

“Transferring the cascade reactions of the enzymes to catalytically active nanoparticles could be a decisive step in the design of catalysts,” concludes Wolfgang Schuhmann.

In the present work, the German-Australian team showed that the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide can take place in nanozymes. Several reaction steps on the silver core and copper shell transform the starting material to ethanol or propanol.

The researchers now want to further develop the concept of the cascade reaction in nanoparticles in order to be able to selectively produce even more valuable products such as ethylene or butanol.

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Category: Research

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