CO2 tagged as new source of energy by FMF researchersJune 16, 2012
Researchers make use of CO2 to produce fuel
Carbon dioxide (CO2) has long been pinned as one of the primary contributors to climate change. The gas, which is produced through the burning of fossil-fuels, creates a greenhouse effect in the planet’s atmosphere, effectively preventing the escape of heat from the world’s surface. The science community is currently working on ways to mitigate the effects of climate change and many have set their sights on CO2, seeking to capture the gas or otherwise dispose of it. A research team from the Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF) in Germany has found a new use for CO2 that could be the future of alternative energy.
Hydrogenolysis creates methanol from hydrogen and CO2 gas
The team, lead by chemist Ingo Krossing, have developed a new system that can use CO2 to produce methanol. This methanol can be used for a variety of purposes and has become a popular fuel source for fuel cells. The system developed by Krossing and his team uses CO2 and hydrogen gas in order to create methanol, a process which is being considered an environmentally friendly form of fuel production. The process is known as hydrogenolysis, and combines the two gases in a high pressure environment before they are converted into methanol using a catalyst comprised of copper and zinc oxides as well as zirconium dioxide.
Methanol a popular storage method for hydrogen
Methanol can be used for more than energy production. It is also a viable storage method for hydrogen gas. The fuel has become popular in the auto industry for this particular purpose and could be used as an effective means for storage for hydrogen fuel cells in the future.
Tests to improve catalyst to commence
FMF researchers will now conduct tests with the catalyst used for the hydrogenolysis process in order to determine ways to make the process more efficient and less time consuming. Once completed, the system may be an effective way to eradicate CO2 as a component to climate change.
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