From carbon dioxide to fuels


The research group of Prof. Urakawa has developed and reported heterogeneously catalysed processes for the conversion of carbon dioxide into methanol at high pressure. Methanol is one of the major chemical commodities and from carbon dioxide to fuelscan be used as a fuel blending agent or as raw material in the manufacture of polymers (MTO process) or other commodities (formaldehyde, acetic acid, etc).

The developed process consists in the hydrogenation at high pressure of carbon dioxide over copper-based heterogeneous catalysts. The developed process presents the following advantages:

  • High conversion per-pass of carbon dioxide: around 95%
  • High selectivity to methanol: around 98%
  • Use of a readily available/commercially available catalyst
  • No recycling of unreacted carbon dioxide required
  • Negligible reverse water gas shift reaction
  • Small reactor size

ICIQ is currently in partnership with a Polish entrepreneur who will demonstrate this patented technology at the pre-industrial scale and further expand the technology globally for its exploitation under a technology license agreement. The implementation of this technology using carbon dioxide captured from power plants or other industrial sources paves the way for the establishment of a circular methanol economy, and the use of greener raw materials.

Journal of Catalysis (2014), 309, 66-70.
Journal of Catalysis (2016), 343, 127-132
Patents WO2017140800 and WO2013171239