Chinese researchers have developed a new catalyst to convert carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, into methanol, widely considered a clean fuel for engines.
A research team, led by Zeng Jie with the University of Science and Technology of China, developed a catalyst based on single atoms of platinum, which can effectively turn carbon dioxide into methanol under an atmospheric pressure of 32 bars and at 150 degrees Celsius.
The selectivity of the platinum-based catalyst for methanol stands at 90.3 percent, about 10 percentage points higher than the commonly used catalyst based on copper, zinc and aluminium. “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 said. The study was published in the academic journal Nature Communications.