Direct Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol
Although carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has received the most attention for its potential to reduce emissions, processes that convert CO2 into a useful product can provide a positive return on investment and not just be an unrecoverable cost. Compared to CCS technology, the potential revenue generated by the use of CO2-based product is likely to grow popular with time while reducing or stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. Due to its reactivity, CO2 can be used as a raw feedstock material for the production of chemicals such as methanol. Fabrication of cost effective photocatalytic electrodes for use in an efficient photoelectrochemical cell to reduce CO2 is the main technical objective for the Phase II project. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of producing methanol using photoanodes in tandem with cathodes. The Work Plan consisted of three major experimental tasks to achieve the two stated objectives. They were successfully accomplished by demonstrating methanol conversion efficiency exceeding literature values with working model of the proposed electrodes. The photoelectrochemical cell will be fine-tuned by optimizing electrode physical properties such as material, geometry, size, and surface morphology. In addition, parameters of the cell including the reactant delivery rate, electrode orientation, and device size and shape will be optimized to increase carbon dioxide to methanol conversion efficiency. Commercial Applications and other Benefits: Worldwide energy demand is driving the need to explore new environmentally friendly and economically viable sources of energy. Technologies such as photo and electrolytic conversion of CO2 to methanol create no harmful byproducts and release no greenhouse gas emissions. These issues are very important in the light of growing awareness of the climate change.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
2531 West 237th Street Suite 127 Torrance, CA 90505
Number of Employees:
Dept of Chem and Biochem
Pittsburgh, PA 15282