Simple method for converting carbon dioxide into useful compounds

The new method transforms carbon dioxide into useful porous compounds (PCPs/MOFs), at room temperature without high pressure. Credit: Mindy Takamiya/Kyoto University ICeMS
Japan's researchers have discovered a way to make carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful chemicals. It is an efficient and energy-efficient method. The method transforms CO2 into metal-organic frameworks, which are simpler ways to dispose of it.

Researchers at the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University and their colleagues carried out the research. The results were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"Reducing the amount of CO2 released by fossil fuel combustion and turning it into valuable chemicals and other materials is a promising way to help protect the environment. Satoshi Horike (a chemist at iCeMS), who led the study, said that CO2 is a very stable and inert molecule. "Our research demonstrates an easier way to run the experiment at a lower temperature and pressure. This will make CO 2 reactions more accessible and easier to create.

Because MOFs can be used for a variety of purposes, the Japanese team chose them because they are biosensors and catalysts. Because MOFs can store large quantities of gas and are porous, they have the potential to be used as storage devices for hydrogen fuel.

The researchers used a solution containing an organic molecule called piperazine to bubble CO 2 at 25C and 0.1 MPa to conduct the reaction. This is what chemists refer to as a "one-pot" method. The MOF quickly became a microcrystalline white powder that was easy to collect and dry. The structure of the MOF was confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray analysis.

The MOFs were able to cover a large surface area, even though they were more than 30% CO2 by weight. These properties make them ideal for functional materials in many applications.

Researchers now want to find out how the reaction could be used to convert CO2 directly from industrial fumes such as those released at power stations that are coal- and gas-fired.

Horike stated that while direct utilization of CO2 is difficult, it could save a lot on energy required to capture and separate the gas. To protect the environment, it is important to reduce and regulate CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. This is one possible solution to important environmental problems.

More information: Kentaro Kadosta et., One-Pot Room-Temperature Conversion of Carbon dioxide into Porous MetalOrganic Frameworks. Journal of the American Chemical Society (2021). Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society Kentaro Kadota and colleagues, One-Pot Room-Temperature Transformation of CO2 into Porous MetalOrganic Frameworks (2021). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c08227