Promoting CO2 hydrogenation to methanol by incorporating adsorbents into catalysts: effects of hydrotalcite

Xin Fang, Yuhan Men, Fan Wu, Qinghu Zhao, Ranjeet Singh, Penny Xiao, Tao Du, Paul A. Webley

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CO2 hydrogenation, in which CO2 conversion to methanol plays a key role, is of increasing importance in mitigating the climate crisis. However, high reaction pressures are required to conduct methanol synthesis because of poor catalytic performance of conventional catalysts, leading to high energy consumption. In this study, a novel strategy was applied to promote methanol synthesis by adsorption-enhanced CO2 hydrogenation. Catalysts made from Cu-ZnO-Al2O3 mixed with different hydrotalcite contents (named CZA-HT) were prepared by physically mixing a commercial copper-based catalyst for methanol synthesis with hydrotalcite for high temperature CO2 adsorption. In these catalysts, only the commercial copper-based component contains the active part for CO2 hydrogenation and its copper surface area is 48.1 m2 g−1 with an optimal reaction temperature of 523 K. Hydrotalcite exhibits no catalytic activity, yet the catalytic performance of the CZA-HT catalysts were clearly facilitated by CO2 adsorption on HT. The sample containing 40 wt% hydrotalcite and 60 wt% CZA showed the highest methanol selectivity of 73.4% and a methanol yield of 4.4% among all samples. The reaction was conducted at a low reaction pressure of 30 bar (much lower than conventional pressure), so that the methanol yield was not high. However, it is observed that the methanol formation rate based on a unit mass of active CZA always increases as the hydrotalcite content in CZA-HT increases, confirming the promotion effects of CO2 adsorption on HT on catalytic performance. The mechanism of adsorption enhanced catalytic reaction was also analysed and discussed, in which the well mixed finer particles of CZA and HT perform better than CZA alone with a 73.9% higher methanol yield.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122052
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • CO
  • CZA
  • Hydrotalcite (HT)
  • Methanol

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