The School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (Australia) has developed a technology for producing synthesis gas from CO 2. Australian scientists were not interested in the process itself, but in how to make a number of complex and useful materials from simple raw materials. Or, in essence, recycle air emissions into a versatile feedstock for the chemical industry.
The idea is based on the synthesis gas itself, which consists of carbon monoxide and hydrogen - the basic elements of many chemical compounds. It is very similar to a Lego brick, unassuming in itself, but capable of becoming part of an arbitrary complex structure. This requires many, many of the same "gas bricks". The task that the Australians have set themselves is precisely to organize the production of "bricks" of synthesis gas from CO 2.
The technology uses a new catalyst - zinc oxide nanoparticles. To obtain them, ordinary zinc oxide is pyrolyzed at a temperature of 2000 ° C. When a catalyst is added, carbon dioxide is converted into a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, the desired synthesis gas. The process takes less than 10 minutes and can be easily scaled up to handle the treatment of emissions from CHP plants with different capacities.
The most interesting thing is that in the process of CO 2 processing it is possible to obtain “gas bricks” of various types. When the ratio of carbon monoxide to hydrogen is 1: 1, synthesis gas is convenient for fuel production. And the 4: 1 option is much better suited for the plastics industry. The new technology makes it possible to create many different types of "gas bricks" that will become a new convenient raw material for the chemical industry. And at the same time they will partially solve the problem of atmospheric pollution.