Atmospheric Pressure and Room Temperature Synthesis of Methanol through Plasma-Catalytic Hydrogenation of CO2

Wang, L, Yi, Y, Guo, H and Tu, X ORCID: 0000-0002-6376-0897
(2018) Atmospheric Pressure and Room Temperature Synthesis of Methanol through Plasma-Catalytic Hydrogenation of CO2. ACS Catalysis, 8 (1). 90 - 100.

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CO2 hydrogenation to methanol is a promising process for CO2 conversion and utilization. Despite a well-developed route for CO hydrogenation to methanol, the use of CO2 as a feedstock for methanol synthesis remains underexplored, and one of its major challenges is high reaction pressure (usually 30–300 atm). In this work, atmospheric pressure and room temperature (∼30 °C) synthesis of methanol from CO2 and H2 has been successfully achieved using a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) with and without a catalyst. The methanol production was strongly dependent on the plasma reactor setup; the DBD reactor with a special water-electrode design showed the highest reaction performance in terms of the conversion of CO2 and methanol yield. The combination of the plasma with Cu/γ-Al2O3 or Pt/γ-Al2O3 catalyst significantly enhanced the CO2 conversion and methanol yield compared to the plasma hydrogenation of CO2 without a catalyst. The maximum methanol yield of 11.3% and methanol selectivity of 53.7% were achieved over the Cu/γ-Al2O3 catalyst with a CO2 conversion of 21.2% in the plasma process, while no reaction occurred at ambient conditions without using plasma. The possible reaction mechanisms in the plasma CO2 hydrogenation to CH3OH with and without a catalyst were proposed by combined means of electrical and optical diagnostics, product analysis, catalyst characterization, and plasma kinetic modeling. These results have successfully demonstrated that this unique plasma process offers a promising solution for lowering the kinetic barrier of catalytic CO2 hydrogenation to methanol instead of using traditional approaches (e.g., high reaction temperature and high-pressure process), and has great potential to deliver a step-change in future CO2 conversion and utilization.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: CO2 conversion, Nonthermal plasmas, Plasma catalysis, CO2 hydrogenation, Methanol synthesis, Ambient conditions, Synergistic effect
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 08:13
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 19:12
DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.7b02733
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