Revolutionary Technology Converts CO2 from Atmosphere into Sustainable Chemicals

As concerns over climate change and the use of fossil fuels continue to rise, scientists at the University of Surrey have developed a groundbreaking technology that captures CO2 from the atmosphere and converts it into useful substances like carbon monoxide and synthetic natural gas. This breakthrough opens the door to more sustainable methods of chemical production and could play a crucial role in the UK’s 2050 net-zero goals.

The technology uses patent-pending “switchable Dual Function Materials” (DFMs) that capture CO2 on their surface and catalyze the conversion of captured CO2 directly into chemicals. The “switchable” nature of the DFMs allows for the production of multiple chemicals depending on the operating conditions or the composition of the added reactant, making the technology responsive to variations in demand for chemicals and the availability of renewable hydrogen as a reactant.

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“Capturing CO2 from the surrounding air and directly converting it into useful products is exactly what we need to approach carbon neutrality in the chemicals sector,” said Dr. Melis Duyar, Senior Lecturer of Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey. “This could very well be a milestone in the steps needed for the UK to reach its 2050 net-zero goals.”

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Not only does this technology offer a solution to the production of carbon neutral fuels and chemicals, but it also provides an innovative approach to combat the ever-increasing CO2 emissions contributing to global warming.

This research, led by postgraduate student Loukia-Pantzechroula Merkouri, demonstrates the potential for this technology to be a game-changer in the fight against climate change and the move towards sustainable chemical production. As Dr. Duyar stated, “these outcomes are a testament to the research excellence at Surrey, with continuously improving facilities, internal funding schemes, and a collaborative culture.”

Source: DOI: 10.1039/D2NR02688K

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