Will Carbon Dioxide Become Gasoline?

Theoretically the world's annual reduction of about 42 billion tons of carbon dioxide in order to prevent the climate continues to deteriorate, in addition to direct reduction, has been produced on the transformation and utilization of carbon dioxide has been a global focus of attention. But the current carbon capture and utilization technology for the mitigation of climate change contribution rate is difficult to more than 1%, can be described as a drop in the bucket.

A recent study by Chinese scientists on the conversion of carbon dioxide into gasoline has attracted widespread attention. Institute of Chemical Physics, Dalian Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences Ge Qingjie, Sun Jian team through the design of a new multi-functional composite catalyst, to achieve a high efficiency of carbon dioxide hydrogenation directly from the petrol. This breakthrough study was published in the May issue of Nature - Communications.

Scientists have tried to produce gasoline with carbon dioxide and hydrogen molecules, but only a half of the hydrocarbon compounds from this chemical reaction were gasoline distillates, and the catalyst for this study was designed to be close to industrial production. The proportion increased to 78%.

Research team member Ge Qingjie told the Chinese and foreign dialogue, the research team not only completed the technological breakthrough, but also used close to the industrial production conditions and ferric chloride and other relatively cheap catalyst raw materials. He said that for the industrial application of the technology research, the team is still more confident, but at the same time facing many difficulties, such as raw material gas purity requirements, gasoline quality certification and further improve the yield, etc., such as smooth, is expected to 5 years Can complete the industrialization demonstration.

With the chemical reaction of carbon dioxide directly into energy, which is tantamount to the natural world spent hundreds of millions of years of fossil fuel generation process in the laboratory to shorten the moment. Is there such a good thing?

First, can you really reduce carbon?

In theory, the process of carbon dioxide as raw material, the product is oil; oil burning, back to carbon dioxide. The process itself is carbon neutral and does not directly reduce the overall process of carbon dioxide emissions. However, compared to the exploitation of fossil fuels, this process produces energy that will not cause more carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere from the ground.

And this technology can be converted to carbon dioxide by the order of carbon dioxide in the acquisition of channels. The current carbon dioxide capture process can not handle low concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air. Ge Qingjie also said that this process is suitable for a large number of concentrated in the discharge of carbon dioxide industrial facilities.

Is energy conversion high enough?

From the point of view of heat input, the general activation of carbon dioxide need to absorb energy, the National Development and Reform Commission Energy Research Institute researcher Jiang Kejun said carbon dioxide because of its stable nature, its activation is difficult to truly achieve a small energy investment to obtain large energy production Out.

In this regard, Ge Qingjie explained that carbon dioxide hydrogenation gasoline fuel is an exothermic process, the energy consumption is relatively low.

However, before the chemical reaction begins, pressurizing the feed gas to the desired temperature and pressure is still energy, and the hydrogen itself is a lot of energy. Jiang Kejun that if put into industrial applications, consider the energy input throughout the process, such as burning fossil energy supply, coupled with the energy loss in the conversion process, in terms of energy efficiency may be uneconomical.

Finally, is it economically viable?

Carbon dioxide to achieve industrial applications, the biggest bottleneck is still its poor economy.

Ge Qingjie pointed out that although the reactions involved in the catalyst, technology and equipment are very close to the current configuration of petrochemicals, but the cost of raw materials, hydrogen and the source is limited to the process of economic and application of a key factor in the promotion. He believes that this process is suitable for certain application scenarios, such as hydrogen cheap, carbon dioxide enrichment.

For example, for marine applications, the current marine industrial equipment, large-scale burning fossil energy, emissions of carbon dioxide, dissolved in seawater, resulting in seawater acidification, a serious threat to marine life and marine environment. By electrolysis of seawater, hydrogen and oxygen, oxygen can be applied to the supply of sea people breathing, and carbon dioxide hydrogenation can generate liquid fuel, the supply of energy for the relevant equipment to form a better cycle, but also conducive to the neutralization of seawater , To improve the marine environment.

Some industry people are not optimistic about the application of this technology. Beijing Petrochemical Engineering Co., Ltd. is responsible for scientific research engineering and technical personnel to tell the dialogue, the feasibility of the laboratory under the conditions of the technology, if put into industrial production, the resulting cost of gasoline is difficult to estimate, may be several times the current gasoline.