University of Cambridge > > Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group > BP KEYNOTE LECTURE: Importance of C-O Bond Activation for CO2/COUtilization - An Approach to Energy Conversion and Storage

BP KEYNOTE LECTURE: Importance of C-O Bond Activation for CO2/COUtilization - An Approach to Energy Conversion and Storage

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CO2 /CO Utilization, as the central part of C1 chemistry and CCUS , becomes one of the most severe challenges for human society nowadays. During the utilization of carbon-based resources, CO is the important intermediate molecules, but CO2 is the end-product indicating the use-up of carbon energy. In recent years, tremendous efforts have been put on CO2 /CO utilization trying to convert them back to chemical products or energy. However, the amount of energy required to convert CO2 into an energy product is certainly higher than that can be provided by the resulted energy product. Hence, CO2 can be regarded as a carbon energy resource only if renewable energy is available and incorporated into the energy products. Of course, CO2 can be regarded as a carbon resource to provide compositional carbon element for new chemical molecules. As a result, CO2 can be regarded as an energy carrier for the transformation of renewable energy. Different from CO2 , CO is not so difficult to be activated but selective control sounds not so easy for target products, which is typical of syngas conversion into hydrocarbons or oxygenates. In particular, CO2 is usually the by-product of syngas conversion. In chemistry, CO2 utilization plays a role to complete the redox cycle, which is intrinsically redox reactions in nature. Charge transfer is the key step for the occurrence of the reactions. Moreover, charge transfer capability is critical for developing the related catalytic materials. As for CO utilization, the selective control becomes the key issue for syngas conversion into fuels or chemicals. Nano/sub-nano catalysis plays a key role in the development of new technologies for CO2 and CO utilization. Among them, four key factors can be summarized for nano/sub-nano catalysis. λ Single – single atom and single site catalysis; λ Size – nano particle, nano crystal, and nano composite catalytic materials; λ Scale – descriptor or quantitative factors, such as distance, distribution, coverage, etc. In nano catalysis, also including mesoscale understandings for nano catalysis; λ Surrounding – chemical environment and geometric environment for active sites. Booming recent publications concerning CO2 and CO utilization demonstrate the importance of C-O bond avtivation by nano/sub-nano catalysis with respect to the factors above mentioned.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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