Navigation Links
Singapore researchers first to transform carbon dioxide into methanol
Date:4/16/2009

Scientists at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have succeeded in unlocking the potential of carbon dioxide a common greenhouse gas by converting it into a more useful product.

In the international chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, the IBN researchers report that by using organocatalysts, they activated carbon dioxide in a mild and non-toxic process to produce methanol, a widely used industrial feedstock and clean-burning biofuel.

Organocatalysts are catalysts that are comprised of non-metallic elements found in organic compounds. NHCs such as IMes (1,3-bis-(2,4,6 trimethylphenyl)imidazolylidene) are a form of organocatalysts that are stable and easily stored. They do not contain toxic heavy metals and can be produced easily without high costs.

The scientists made carbon dioxide react by using N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), a novel organocatalyst. In contrast to heavy metal catalysts that contain toxic and unstable components, NHCs are stable, even in the presence of oxygen. Hence, the reaction with NHCs and carbon dioxide can take place under mild conditions in dry air.

The IBN scientists showed that only a small amount of NHC is required to induce carbon dioxide activity in a reaction. "NHCs have shown tremendous potential for activating and fixing carbon dioxide. Our work can contribute towards transforming excess carbon dioxide in the environment into useful products such as methanol," said Siti Nurhanna Riduan, IBN Senior Lab Officer, who is also pursuing her Ph.D. under the Scientific Staff Development Award at IBN, one of the research institutes of Singapore's A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research).

Hydrosilane, a combination of silica and hydrogen, is added to the NHC-activated carbon dioxide, and the product of this reaction is transformed into methanol by adding water through hydrolysis.

Yugen Zhang, Ph.D., IBN Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist, explained, "Hydrosilane provides hydrogen, which bonds with carbon dioxide in a reduction reaction. This carbon dioxide reduction is efficiently catalyzed by NHCs even at room temperature. Methanol can be easily obtained from the product of the carbon dioxide reaction. Our previous research on NHCs has demonstrated their multiple applications as powerful antioxidants to fight degenerative diseases, and as effective catalysts to transform sugars into an alternative energy source. We have now shown that NHCs can also be applied successfully to the conversion of carbon dioxide into methanol, helping to unleash the potential of this highly abundant gas."

Previous attempts to reduce carbon dioxide to more useful products have required more energy input and a much longer reaction time. They also require transition metal catalysts, which are both unstable in oxygen and expensive. Ongoing research at IBN aims to find cheap alternatives for the hydrosilane reagent so that the production of methanol can be even more cost-effective for mass industrial production.

"At IBN, we are innovating effective methods of generating clean energy using green chemistry and nanotechnology. In the face of environmental pollution, global warming and increasing demands on diminishing fossil fuel resources, we hope to provide a viable alternative energy option for industry, and effective sequestration and conversion of carbon dioxide," said IBN Executive Director. Jackie Y. Ying, Ph.D.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
sciencematter@yahoo.com
858-243-1814
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. First tri-continuous mesoporous Silica complex structure developed in Singapore
2. Regulatory molecule for tumor formation or suppression identified by Singapore, US researchers
3. The Earth Observatory of Singapore devoted to the study of earth sciences officially opens
4. Singapore research organisations team up to advance drug discovery using brain tumor stem cells
5. Singapore-US scientists first to develop revolutionary microchip that uses 30 times less energy
6. NTU undergrad is first Singapore champion of an internationally acclaimed engineering competition
7. Singapore research team first place in Brain-Computer Interface contest
8. Singapore opens Fusionopolis, its second major R&D hub in 5 years
9. Singapores BIOPOLIS and FUSIONOPOLIS on stage in Boston this week
10. Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research to set up its first Asian branch in Singapore
11. Rare cancer-causing syndrome found, for the first time, in Singapore
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/27/2016)... Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a leading ... West Chester, Ohio announced today the ... staff, based in Austin, Texas , ... to provide modifications, installations and technical support offerings for ... of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world class service ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... 22, 2016 ... of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric Market ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced ... Biometric Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced the ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... 2016 A market that just keeps on ... the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn all about it ... range of dynamic trends are pushing market growth and ... - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - next generation sequencing ... greater understanding of the role of genetic material in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... PatientCrossroads announces ... the secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded both its one-year and overall recruitment ... PROMPT study, which seeks to advance understanding of the hereditary risks for certain ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... With a presidential election in November ... Business Conference will bring together over 500 top healthcare leaders for a night and ... The conference, organized by MBA students of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, will ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Tunnell Consulting, Inc. announced that Frédéric Lefebvre ... will focus on acquiring new accounts and work closely with existing Tunnell clients throughout ... brings to our European clients more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... This market research report on the global ... of the market in terms of revenue (USD Million). ... the manufacture of microbiology culture media and related products. ... snapshot providing the overall information of various market segments ... also provides the overall information and data analysis of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: