Decarbonization Avenue : C2V - CO2 to Value

In fact

Carbon dioxide turned into methanol by exploiting daily temperature changes

A new catalyst harnesses the energy associated with daily temperature changes, and uses it to convert carbon dioxide into methanol. The technique could one day be used to supply sustainable fuel.

Researchers in China have developed a catalyst that generates an electric current in response to temperature variation and then uses this to drive the conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol. The pyroelectric process relies on bismuth tungstate nanoplates that harvest heat energy during temperature changes – potentially offering a way to power fuel production using only the natural thermal changes during day and night cycles.

But how scalable is this type of technology? Will it be confined to exciting lab research alone or could electricity generation from such ambient temperature changes be able to power large scale chemical reactions?

Relevant for

  • Thermodynamics & heat sciences professional
  • Electrical engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Electrochemical engineer

Innovation sector

  • Chemistry & chemical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Heat & thermodynamics
  • Material sciences

Other In fact


  • University researcher