American Chemical Society
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CO2 Hydrogenation at Atmospheric Pressure and Low Temperature Using Plasma-Enhanced Catalysis over Supported Cobalt Oxide Catalysts

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-11-17, 18:38 authored by Maria Ronda-Lloret, Yaolin Wang, Paula Oulego, Gadi Rothenberg, Xin Tu, N. Raveendran Shiju
CO2 is a promising renewable, cheap, and abundant C1 feedstock for producing valuable chemicals, such as CO and methanol. In conventional reactors, because of thermodynamic constraints, converting CO2 to methanol requires high temperature and pressure, typically 250 °C and 20 bar. Nonthermal plasma is a better option, as it can convert CO2 at near-ambient temperature and pressure. Adding a catalyst to such plasma setups can enhance conversion and selectivity. However, we know little about the effects of catalysts in such systems. Here, we study CO2 hydrogenation in a dielectric barrier discharge plasma-catalysis setup under ambient conditions using MgO, γ-Al2O3, and a series of CoxOy/MgO catalysts. While all three catalyst types enhanced CO2 conversion, CoxOy/MgO gave the best results, converting up to 35% of CO2 and reaching the highest methanol yield (10%). Control experiments showed that the basic MgO support is more active than the acidic γ-Al2O3, and that MgO-supported cobalt oxide catalysts improve the selectivity toward methanol. The methanol yield can be tuned by changing the metal loading. Overall, our study shows the utility of plasma catalysis for CO2 conversion under mild conditions, with the potential to reduce the energy footprint of CO2-recycling processes.