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A new catalyst for making methane from CO2 and H2

By Paul Grad |

The Sabatier reaction, in which H2 and CO2 react at temperatures of 300–400°C in the presence of a nickel catalyst, or an alumina-supported ruthenium catalyst, is one way to reduce CO2 into methane. Until now, however, it has been difficult to find efficient, resilient catalysts with good selectivity. A promising candidate for making methane from CO2 has been developed by the research group of professor Christian Doonan at the University of Adelaide (Australia; www.adelaide.edu.au) and colleagues from CSIRO (www.csiro.au). The catalyst — a ruthenium-impregnated zirconium-based metal-organic framework (MOF) — could pave the way for producing carbon-neutral fuels. The new catalyst is based on a commercially available zirconium terephthalate MOF called UiO-66. The group used a wet impregnation method to introduce RuCl3 into the pores of the activated MOF. The catalyst was dried and activated for testing in a fixed-bed microreactor. A mixture of H2 and CO2 (with a 4-to-1 mole ratio) was flowed over the top of the catalyst. The best results were obtained at temperatures of 330–350°C and a pressure of 500 kPa. Under these conditions, the catalyst converted 96% of CO2 into methane, with 99% selectivity. The only observed byproduct…
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