Yale researchers convert CO2 and water into methanol with electricity

December 4, 2019 |

In New Jersey, Yale researchers developed a catalyst that converts carbon dioxide and water into methanol using electricity. It’s a type of catalyst called a heterogeneous molecular electrocatalyst — “heterogeneous” because it’s a solid catalyst material operating in a liquid electrolyte, and “molecular” because the active site of the catalyst is a molecular structure.

Researchers anchored individual molecules of cobalt phthalocyanine (or its derivative) onto the surface of carbon nanotubes, nanometer-sized tubes of rolled up graphene layers. The nanotubes act like a highway for electrons, creating a rapid and continuous delivery of electrons to the catalytic sites for converting carbon dioxide to methanol. It is a six-electron reduction process, the researchers said, meaning that six electrons are injected into one carbon dioxide molecule.

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Category: Research

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