Researchers transform CO2 into jet fuel

January 3, 2021 |

In the United Kingdom, Oxford University researchers turned carbon dioxide into jet fuel using novel, inexpensive iron-based catalysts – an organic combustion-synthesized Fe-Mn-K catalyst. This catalytic process provides an attractive route not only to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions but also to produce renewable and sustainable jet fuel.

They prepared the Fe-Mn-K catalyst by the so-called Organic Combustion Method, and the catalyst shows a carbon dioxide conversion through hydrogenation to hydrocarbons in the aviation jet fuel range of 38.2%, with a yield of 17.2%, and a selectivity of 47.8%, and with an attendant low carbon monoxide (5.6%) and methane selectivity (10.4%). The conversion reaction also produces light olefins ethylene, propylene, and butenes, totalling a yield of 8.7%, which are important raw materials for the petrochemical industry and are presently also only obtained from fossil crude oil. As this carbon dioxide is extracted from air, and re-emitted from jet fuels when combusted in flight, the overall effect is a carbon-neutral fuel. This contrasts with jet fuels produced from hydrocarbon fossil sources where the combustion process unlocks the fossil carbon and places it into the atmosphere, in longevity, as aerial carbon – carbon dioxide.

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Category: Research

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