Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon Dioxide Snatched From The Air

Date:
April 21, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Researchers have developed a novel reaction scheme by which carbon dioxide can be efficiently converted into methanol under very mild conditions.

Chemists envy green plants: by using photosynthesis, plants can easily fix the carbon dioxide that is so plentiful in air to make biomass, or organic compounds. Chemists would also like to be able to simply produce carbon compounds out of carbon dioxide from air.
Credit: Copyright Wiley-VCH

It’s the reason why chemists envy green plants: by using photosynthesis, plants can easily fix the carbon dioxide that is so plentiful in air to make biomass, or organic compounds. Chemists would also like to be able to simply produce carbon compounds out of CO2 from air. In contrast to the usual sources of carbon used today—fossil fuels and natural gas—carbon dioxide is a renewable resource and an environmentally friendly chemical reagent.

Unfortunately, its carbon–oxygen bonds are too strong to be broken easily. Researchers working with Yugen Zhang and Jackie Y. Ying at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore have now developed a novel reaction scheme by which CO2 can be efficiently converted into methanol under very mild conditions. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, it is based on an N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst and a silane as the reducing agent.

The basic framework of an N-heterocyclic carbene is a five-membered ring made of two nitrogen and three carbon atoms. Instead of having the usual four bonds, one of these carbon atoms only has two. The two electrons left over in the form of a lone pair, which makes this species highly reactive—reactive enough to attack CO2.

The researchers in Singapore produced the carbene catalyst used in the reaction in situ from a precursor. The carbene activates the CO2, but is then split off again to end the reaction cycle in its original state. The formal reaction partner is a hydrosilane, an organosilicon compound that acts as a reducing agent. The reaction product into which the CO2 is converted can easily be collected in the form of methanol in the last step of the reaction series. Methanol is an important starting material for many chemical syntheses and serves as an alternative fuel and as a raw material for the production of energy in methanol fuel cells.

The big advantage: unlike prior reaction mechanisms using metal-containing catalysts, air can be used as the source of the CO2 because the carbene catalyst is not sensitive to oxygen. The carbene is more efficient than the metal-containing catalysts as well, and the reaction can be carried out under very mild conditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Siti Nurhanna Riduan, Yugen Zhang, Jackie Y. Ying. Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol with Silanes over N-Heterocyclic Carbene Catalysts. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2009; 48 (18): 3322-3325 DOI: 10.1002/anie.200806058

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Carbon Dioxide Snatched From The Air." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420121342.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, April 21). Carbon Dioxide Snatched From The Air. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420121342.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Carbon Dioxide Snatched From The Air." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420121342.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

AFP (July 22, 2014) As part of the 14-ship convoy that will accompany the Costa Concordia from the port of Giglio to the port of Genoa, there will be a boat carrying experts to look out for dolphins and whales from crossing the path of the Concordia. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins