Methane from carbon dioxide

Journal Reference:

  1. Il Son Khan, Diego Mateo, Genrikh Shterk, Tuiana Shoinkhorova, Daria Poloneeva, Luis Garzón‐Tovar, Jorge Gascon. An Efficient Metal–Organic Framework‐Derived Nickel Catalyst for the Light Driven Methanation of CO 2. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2021; DOI: 10.1002/anie.202111854

The team led by Luis Garzón-Tovar and Jorge Gascon at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia) was looking for an efficient, economical catalyst for the photothermal methanation of CO2. Photothermal catalysis is based on the combination of light-driven and thermal chemical processes. In contrast to pure photocatalysis, it has the advantage of allowing longer wavelength light in the visible and IR regions of the spectrum to contribute to driving the reaction.

Instead of precious metals, they sought to base the new catalyst on an abundant, inexpensive metal, and chose to use a high load of nickel nanoparticles on a carbon-based support. Carbon materials are highly promising supports for photothermal catalysis because they absorb a broad spectrum of light, are highly efficient in converting light into heat energy, and have a large surface area.

The team used a nickel-containing metal-organic framework (Ni-MOF-74) as their starting material for producing the catalyst. Controlled pyrolysis of this material at 600°C proved to be optimal. The Ni-MOF-74 decomposes to form uniform finely distributed nickel nanoparticles embedded in a porous graphitic carbon matrix. The resulting material, named [email protected], demonstrated a high rate of conversion and high selectivity for methanation under artificial UV, visible, and IR light. In a continuous process in a flow-type reactor, the efficiency of the catalyst remained stable over a period of more than 12 hours.

To demonstrate the practical application of this system, an experiment was run outside, under natural sunlight, proving the potential of this new catalyst to reduce CO2 to CH4 using solar energy.

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Methane from carbon dioxide

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