Recently, single-tube test of CO2 hydrogenation to methanol was finished by institute of Coal Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences， which indicate a great progress of the technology for industrialization.
Methanol, one of the most important basic raw material in chemical industry, is mainly used to produce formaldehyde, dimethyl ether, acetic acid and other chemical products and can also applied to manufacture olefin (ethylene, propylene), aromatic hydrocarbon（benzene，methylbenzene，xylene）, gasoline and other fuels, which can partially alleviate the dependence on petroleum resources. Moreover, methanol is also a clean energy, which can serve as fuel or fuel cell. The chemical utilization of carbon and oxygen resources in CO2 by the synthesis of methanol from CO2/H2 may contribute to the recycle of carbon resources and thus decrease the dependence on fossil fuels.
Due to the difficulty in CO2 activation, the development of catalyst with high-efficiency has become the research focus of the process. After systematic studies for several years, research group led by Dr. Ning Zhao has gathered a deep understanding on the design-preparation, structure-performance relationship, feed activation as well as reaction mechanism of Cu-based catalyst. The results show that CO2 conversion is related to the exposed Cu surface area and CH3OH selectivity is connected to the strongly basic sites or Cuα+ species on the catalyst surface (J. Catal., 2013, 298: 51-60; Appl. Catal. A: General, 2013, 468: 442-452; J. of CO2 Utiliz., 2013, 2: 16-23; Catal. Sci. & Tech., 2012, 2 (7): 1447-1454; 2015,5,4365-4377; Catal. Today, 2012, 194 (1): 9-15; Catal. Comm., 2014,50,78-82; RSC Advances, 2014, 4, 48888-48896; J. Power Sources 2014, 251, 113-121; Catalysis Letters, 2015,145,1177-1185; Appl. Catal. B:2016,191,8-17). Two patents (201310175806.X, 201410001618.X) have also been granted.
The catalyst was successfully prepared at large scale which was then evaluated in a single-tube reactor.
This work was financially supported by the Key Science and Technology Program of Shanxi Province, the Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The single-tube unit of CO2 hydrogenation to methanol