Directly converting CO2 into a gasoline fuel

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2017-05-02

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15174

Affiliations: 2

Authors: 8

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Research Highlight

Future of fuel is up in the air

© Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia/Moment/Getty

© Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia/Moment/Getty

An inexpensive catalyst has improved the efficiency of converting carbon dioxide into gasoline.

Fossil fuels take millions of years to form naturally and burning them releases harmful greenhouse gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere. Capturing the waste CO2 and creating fuel from it is an appealing solution, but getting CO2 to react takes a lot of energy.

A team including researchers from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences created a catalyst that provides multiple points for CO2 to react with hydrogen and uses relatively cheap ingredients including sodium and iron oxides. The catalyst could be tuned to convert CO2 and hydrogen into 78 per cent of fuel-friendly hydrocarbons. It also released very little methane and remained stable for 1,000 hours.

Converting waste carbon dioxide into gasoline could reduce air pollution and fuel cars, but the cost and availability of hydrogen create an obstacle to manufacture on an industrial scale.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 8, 15174 (2017). doi: 10.1038/ncomms15174
Institutions FC
Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy (DNL), DICP CAS, China 0.75
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), China 0.25

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