Towards a hydrogen-based economy: Low-temperature hydrogen production from aqeuous methanol

Nielsen, M. (Lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


It is today well known that we all have an interest in replacing fossil fuels as energy source with more renewable sources. In order to develop a sustainable energy system that can compete with the fossil-based system, renewable hydrogen production has been suggested as the central means of accessing chemically stored energy. This has been termed hydrogen economy. In order to make an energy system based on hydrogen realistic, a method for efficient and safe transport of the hydrogen needs to be developed. For this, methanol is a promising candidate as a hydrogen-rich and easily transportable material. The idea is that methanol is produced via e.g. hydrogenation of carbon dioxide, thereby storing the hydrogen. This is part of a bigger term, the methanol economy. One major obstacle for this type of the methanol economy to become viable is the release of the hydrogen, which has to be done at relatively mild conditions in order not to use more energy during this process than the resulting hydrogen will provide. Here, we show our contribution to this endeavour. We show the first reported homogeneous catalytic system for the production of hydrogen and carbon dioxide from an aqueous methanol solution. We can reach the same gaseous hydrogen/carbon dioxide of 3:1 as is characteristic of methanol reforming, a process which has otherwise exclusively been carried out by heterogeneous catalysis. In addition, our system is mild compared to the heterogeneous system with working temperatures <100 °C. We also show the robustness of the system by letting it perform for more than three weeks. The maximum turnover frequency (TOFmax) is 4700 h-1 and the turnover number exceeds 350000. Reference: Low-temperature aqueous-phase methanol dehydrogenation to hydrogen and carbon dioxide, Nielsen, M.; Alberico, E.; Baumann, W.; Drexler, H.-J.; Junge, H.; Gladiali, S.; Beller, M. Nature, 2013 , 495, 85.
Event title246th ACS National Meeting &amp; Exposition
Event typeConference
Conference number246
LocationIndianapolis, Indiana, United States