(109c) CO2 to Methanol

Chitta, D., Ceramatec
Boxley, C. J., Ceramatec

Methanol is a feedstock for scores of chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetic acid and biodiesel. The global demand for methanol in 2008 was 39 MMTPA of which North America consumed approximately 8 million Tons. The proposed research will result into development a novel catalyst to convert CO2 to methanol. Preliminary economic calculations indicate commercial feasibility of such a schematic and hence a significant market impact is possible. Methanol itself can be converted to gasoline via commercially known processes (e.g. Mobil Methanol-to-Gasoline) process.

Current commercial manufacturing process for methanol utilizes natural gas as feedstock to produce syngas (steam reforming) which is then converted to methanol over a catalyst (Cu-Zn-Alumina). The commercial catalyst is active only in the presence of carbon monoxide.CO2 activation using existing catalysts is a significant challenge. To convert CO2 to methanol, new class of catalysts needs to be discovered. The research will focus upon development of novel hierarchical zeolite based promoted catalysts. The primary metal will be selected from Cu, Fe, Co and Ni. Promoters will be chosen from ZrO2, CeO2 and other rate earth. The performance of zeolite based catalysts will be compared to that of commercial Cu-Zn-Al2O3 based catalyst. The catalyst  will advance the state-of-the art in CO2 conversion.