Chinese scientists have synthesized a new catalyst to turn carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, into methanol, generally regarded as a clean fuel for engines.
A group of scientists, headed by Zeng Jie from the University of Science and Technology of China, designed a catalyst on the basis of single atoms of platinum, which have the efficacy to convert carbon dioxide into methanol at a temperature of 150 ○C and under an atmospheric pressure of 32 bars.
The selectivity of the platinum-based catalyst for methanol reaches 90.3%, about 10 percentage points higher than the widely used catalyst based on zinc, copper, and aluminum.
The study provides a new method to produce methanol with high purity and will help scientists better understand the mechanism of single-atom catalysis.
Zeng Jie, University of Science and Technology, China
The research was reported in the academic journal Nature Communications.