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Seeking Catalyst for Efficient Conversion of Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen to Methanol

Background / Description

Power to Methanol is a highly promising technology for the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) generated by renewable energy sources. Fuels derived from methanol such as dimethyl ether and oxymethylene ethers show high potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of synthetic fuels for a low carbon mobility in the future.

Industrial catalysts based on CuZnAlOx materials are highly efficient in converting CO-rich syngas, as derived from steam reforming of methane, to methanol. However, with rising content of CO2, catalyst productivity and stability become an issue for industrial applications. Reduced thermal stability may be attributed to higher amounts of product water when applying high CO2 content in the feedgas.

The client is seeking alternative catalytic compounds with improved hydrothermal stability and improved activity. Low operating temperatures of <200°C would be desirable for thermodynamic reasons as the conversion of CO2/H2 into methanol is exothermic.

Technical Specifications

Technical specifications for the alternative catalyst:

  • Based on easily available base metals and accessible by conventional preparation techniques such as precipitation or impregnation without major issues when produced in higher amounts
  • Contain low loading of precious metals as the active mass
  • Low (or even zero) activity of the catalyst for RWGS – reversed water gas shift
  • Preferably suitable for instationary operating conditions


From a direct comparison with a CuZnAlOx standard catalyst sample, the alternative catalyst should show advantages under the following reaction conditions (which could differ from the parameters listed) with regard to productivity and selectivity parameters:

  • Pressure: 10-60 bar
  • Temperature: <300°C, preferably 150-200°C
  • High catalyst productivity: STY > 0,5 gMeOH gKat–1 h–1
  • Feedgas composition: (CO2+CO):H2 ~ 1:3, with CO2:CO > 4:1
  • Space velocities up to 20.000 h-1
  • Conversion per pass > 50%, selectivity to MeOH (methanol) > 90%

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration
  • Licensing
  • IP Acquisition
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)

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