Carbon dioxide as a source and hydrogen energy are considered the most practical measures to achieve carbon neutrality. However, technological innovation is essential for them to be environmentally and economically feasible. To this end, a Korean research team developed a proprietary technology that exploits the synergy of both fields.
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST; President: Seok-Jin Yoon) reported that the research group of Dr. Hyung-Suk Oh at the Clean Energy Research Center has developed a technology that stably converts carbon dioxide into useful liquid compounds (formate) by performing high-volume synthesis with fluorine-doped tin oxide catalysts . Also called methanoic acid, formate is a basic chemical raw material used in various industries such as food processing, preservatives, coloring agents, plasticizers, de-icing agents and curing retardants due to its sour taste, properties antibacterial and its ability. to control the pH. In recent years, it has also been in the spotlight as a raw material for environmentally friendly biodegradable plastics.
Because most formate is currently produced through the thermo-chemical reaction of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide emissions are unavoidable during the production process. While it can be produced in an environmentally friendly way if carbon dioxide is directly converted to formate via an electrochemical reaction, it would be necessary to increase the performance of the electrode material responsible for converting the gas to a liquid phase and to ensure stability. which allows the electrode to work stably for a long time.
The KIST research team focused on the fact that fluorine-doped tin oxide has a lower tendency than regular tin oxide to metallize and maintain the carbon dioxide conversion activity of the catalysts. Using a relatively simple method of doping fluorine during tin oxide synthesis, the researchers developed an electrode that maintains high formate conversion activity in a stable manner. The fluorine-doped tin oxide electrode produced by the proposed method was shown to have a formate production rate that is four times higher than an existing tin oxide electrode, and its stability was improved by at least 100 times, so its performance is maintained even during a long-term response time of over a week.
Alternatively, formate is one of the most promising candidates as a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC), which is a hydrogen storage material that binds hydrogen to a third substance to enable storage and transport without having to rely on containers of expensive specialized heavy. . The essence of LOHC technology is to provide liquid compounds with high storage capacity for hydrogen and safety, even when exposed to external factors; format has this characteristic. With the application of the technology developed by the researchers, as environmental and economic concerns (which were previously considered weaknesses) will be solved simultaneously, a reassessment of its competitiveness against other candidate materials such as ammonia is expected.
According to Dr. Hyung-Suk Oh, “By developing highly efficient electrodes, we can build a continuous system that mass-produces formate from carbon dioxide.
“Not only is this a direction for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), but it is also a kind of ‘kill two birds with one stone’ technology that offers large quantities of the ideal format for hydrogen storage. We expect for it to contribute greatly to carbon neutrality in the future as the supply of renewable energy increases and the hydrogen-based society progresses, making the system economically feasible.”
The research was published in Nature Communications.
Caught in the act: Identifying key chemical mediators in the pollutant-fuel reaction
Young-Jin Ko et al, Exploring dopant effects in stannic oxide nanoparticles for the electroreduction of CO2 to formate, Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-29783-7
Provided by the National Science and Technology Research Council
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