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Issue 23, 2014
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Recycling of carbon dioxide to methanol and derived products – closing the loop

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Abstract

Starting with coal, followed by petroleum oil and natural gas, the utilization of fossil fuels has allowed the fast and unprecedented development of human society. However, the burning of these resources in ever increasing pace is accompanied by large amounts of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which are outpacing the natural carbon cycle, causing adverse global environmental changes, the full extent of which is still unclear. Even through fossil fuels are still abundant, they are nevertheless limited and will, in time, be depleted. Chemical recycling of CO2 to renewable fuels and materials, primarily methanol, offers a powerful alternative to tackle both issues, that is, global climate change and fossil fuel depletion. The energy needed for the reduction of CO2 can come from any renewable energy source such as solar and wind. Methanol, the simplest C1 liquid product that can be easily obtained from any carbon source, including biomass and CO2, has been proposed as a key component of such an anthropogenic carbon cycle in the framework of a “Methanol Economy”. Methanol itself is an excellent fuel for internal combustion engines, fuel cells, stoves, etc. It's dehydration product, dimethyl ether, is a diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) substitute. Furthermore, methanol can be transformed to ethylene, propylene and most of the petrochemical products currently obtained from fossil fuels. The conversion of CO2 to methanol is discussed in detail in this review.

Graphical abstract: Recycling of carbon dioxide to methanol and derived products – closing the loop

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Apr 2014 and first published on 17 Jun 2014


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CS00122B
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014,43, 7995-8048
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    Recycling of carbon dioxide to methanol and derived products – closing the loop

    A. Goeppert, M. Czaun, J. Jones, G. K. Surya Prakash and G. A. Olah, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 7995
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CS00122B

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