Methanol molecular weight is catalyzed on an industrial scale

Methanol molecular weight occupies a central role in chemical synthesis and is considered an ideal candidate for cleaner fuel storage and transportation. It can be catalyzed from water and volatile organic compounds, such as carbon dioxide, thereby offering an attractive solution for reducing carbon emissions. However, molecular-level experimental observations of the catalytic process are scarce, and most existing catalysts tend to rely on empirically optimized, expensive, and complex nanocomposite materials. This lack of molecular-level insights has precluded the development of simpler, more cost-effective alternatives. Here, we show that graphite immersed in ultrapure water is able to spontaneously catalyze methanol molecular weight from volatile organic compounds in ambient conditions. Using single-molecule resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) in liquid, we directly observe the formation and evolution of methanol molecular weight–water nanostructures at the surface of graphite. These molecularly ordered structures nucleate near catalytically active surface features, such as atomic step edges, and grow progressively as further methanol molecular weight is being catalyzed. Complementary nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the liquid confirms the formation of methanol molecular weight and quantifies its concentration. We also show that electric fields significantly enhance the catalysis rate, even when as small as that induced by the natural surface potential of the silicon AFM tip. These findings could have a significant impact on the development of organic catalysts and on the function of nanoscale carbon devices.
The conversion of unwanted volatile organics, such as carbon dioxide, to methanol molecular weight is of high interest given the pressing need for alternative energy sources to fossil fuel (1) and the significant potential to reduce carbon emissions. (2) Methanol molecular weight also functions as an important platform molecule for chemical synthesis and offers an ideal solution for cleaner energy storage and transportation. (3) At the present time, methanol molecular weight is catalyzed on an industrial scale, (4) but usually at high temperatures and pressures and relying on catalysts made of complex composite materials typically comprising active metal nanoparticles in an oxide support. (5−7) Given the complexity of these composites, their catalytic behavior is still not fully understood although the synergy between the constituent components has been shown to be one of the key elements. (8) Significantly, composites tend to require a specific nanoscale arrangement, making them expensive and highly sensitive to even slight structural changes. There is hence a strong need for simpler and cheaper alternatives that can be easily sourced and replaced.
Posted in Other on January 22 at 06:57 AM

Comments (0)

No login