Teams from Stanford University (SU) and the Technical University at Demark (TUD) have collaborated to develop technology using carbon dioxide as a biofuel.
By using nickel-gallium as a catalyst methanol could be converted to a useful biofuel.
Since methanol is the primary ingredient in plastics, solvents and adhesives and could be easily converted to save energy and create a new source simultaneously.
Methanol is created when gas and water coalesce into a synthesis gas derived from carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
According to Jens Nørskov, hydrogen into methanol from SU has devised a way to convert CO2 and hydrogen gas to create methanol.
The researchers explained in the study: “The use of methanol as a fuel and chemical feedstock could become very important in the development of a more sustainable society if methanol could be efficiently obtained from the direct reduction of CO2 using solar-generated hydrogen. If hydrogen production is to be decentralized, small-scale CO2 reduction devices are required that operate at low pressures.”
Nørskov commented: “Imagine if you could synthesize methanol using hydrogen from renewable sources, such as water split by sunlight, and carbon dioxide captured from power plants and other industrial smokestacks. Eventually we would also like to make higher alcohols, such as ethanol and propanol, which, unlike methanol, can be directly added to gasoline today.”