Investigating Combinations of Alkali Metal Oxides and Hydrogenation Catalysts for Reactive Capture of CO2 to Useful C1 Products

Research output: NRELPoster


As the world endures environmental crises associated with climate change and the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations from anthropogenic CO2 emission, carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies are increasingly necessary. Reactive carbon capture (RCC) technologies, in which capture and conversion of CO2 occur in a single reactor, are more energetically and economically attractive by avoiding the need to purify, compress, and transport the captured CO2. To this end, dual function materials (DFMs) - composed of sorbents and catalysts co-dispersed on the same high surface area carrier - have been developed. The sorbent component allows for selective capture of CO2 from a gas stream and the catalyst component subsequently performs the in-situ conversion of the adsorbed CO2 upon introduction of a reactive gas (typically H2). The end product of the most established DFM, comprised of Ru and/or Ni with an alkaline sorbent, is methane via the CO2 methanation reaction. While renewable methane would be an excellent transition fuel, fossil methane is inexpensive (averaging $2.57/MMBTU in pre-pandemic 2019) and the economics of renewable methane utilization are noncompetitive. This requires the design and investigation of DFMs that enable CO2 capture and conversion to more valuable and more useful C1 products like CO or methanol (average price of methanol was $20.61/MMBTU in pre-pandemic 2019). These products can then be further upgraded to high energy density synthetic fuels, and related carbonaceous products, for more sustainable alternatives in industries that are difficult to decarbonize, specifically heavy duty vehicles and aviation. Herein, we report various sorbent + catalyst combinations to achieve the production of useful C1 products through reactive capture of CO2.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the Gordon Research Seminar on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (GRS), 27 May - 2 June 2023, Les Diablerets, Switzerland

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5100-86362


  • carbon capture
  • catalysis
  • hydrogenation
  • methanation
  • methanol synthesis
  • reactive carbon capture
  • reverse water gas shift


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