A “Clean” Solution: Selectively Producing Methanol Fuel from Sunlight and CO2 by a Noble-Metal Free Catalytic System

Time period: 2017-07-01 to 2020-08-31

Project leader: Haining Tian, Tian Haining

Funder: Swedish Energy Agency

Type of award: Project grant

Total fundning: 6 050 000 SEK

The storage of solar energy and its large-scale implementation in our transport sector is one of the great energy challenges of our time. The project outlined herein addresses this issue via solar-driven methanol production from CO2. Methanol is a promising fuel product, it is liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, and is compatible with standard combustion engines. Moreover, it has a negligible carbon footprint if produced in a sustainable way. With our expertise in photochemistry, catalysis and device development we will generate a noble-metal free system for methanol production from CO2 operating at ambient temperature and pressure, based on the principles of the well-established thermochemical process. Critically, it will be combined with a novel photochemical system for hydrogen production that allows us to generate the required H2 gas directly from sunlight, thus providing a renewable and solar-driven methanol production.