March 3, 2014

...AND CHEAPER...:

Are we close to cheaper cleaner methanol? : A newly discovered nickel-gallium catalyst can convert carbon dioxide into methanol leaving fewer by-products, say scientists. (Sudeshna Chowdhury, March 3, 2014, CS Monitor)

Thanks to a newly discovered nickel-gallium catalyst that can convert hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methanol leaving behind considerably less carbon monoxide as a by-product, according to a paper titled "Discovery of a Ni-Ga catalyst for carbon dioxide reduction to methanol" published in the March 2 online edition of the journal Nature Chemistry. [...]

"You get ideas for new functional materials based entirely on computer calculations. There is no trial-and-error in the lab first. You use your insight and enormous computer power to identify new and interesting materials, which can then be tested experimentally," Jens Nørskov, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford and co-author said in a press release. [...]

Current production of methanol though is dependent upon hydrogen and carbon dioxide, largely obtained from hydrocarbons (mainly methane), says Nørskov.

The bigger aim therefore is to  "synthesize methanol using hydrogen from renewable sources, such as water split by sunlight, and carbon dioxide captured from power plants and other industrial smokestacks," Nørskov said. 
Posted by at March 3, 2014 7:03 PM
  
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