CO2-to-methanol conversion – an alternative energy storage solution

Andrzej WILK*, Lucyna WIĘCŁAW-SOLNY, Tomasz SPIETZ, Adam TATARCZUK – Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal, Zabrze, Poland
Please cite as: CHEMIK 2016, 70, 10, 626–633

Using carbon oxides in synthesis of fuels is an extensively researched subject, since studies devoted to this problem have been conducted as long as since the beginning of the previous century. The two major reactions were the Sabatier process, which consisted in carbon dioxide hydrogenation to methane, and the Fisher-Tropsch process, being extensively applied to obtain fuels through carbon monoxide hydrogenation.

On account of the contemporary environmental protection requirements, it is necessary to reduce emission of carbon dioxide, since it is commonly considered to be the main factor responsible for global climate changes. The CO2 emission reduction technologies which are most frequently taken into consideration include CCS-based solutions which consist in carbon dioxide capture, transport and underground (predominantly) storage. However, carbon dioxide may also function as a single-carbon building molecule in organic synthesis, therefore, CCU technologies are increasingly often considered as the CCS substitute. Nowadays, utilisation of carbon dioxide as chemical raw material is limited to several chemical processes, including mainly synthesis of urea, salicylic acid and polycarbonates. Additionally, CO2 can be used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

For this reason, conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels appears as a good alternative for both carbon dioxide utilisation as well as storage of renewable and redundant electric energy.

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