A catalytic reactor that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels was developed by the chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian Wang. This new catalyst uses carbon dioxide as a real raw material to produce formic acid in a highly purified solution.
It is not the first carbon dioxide device to produce formic acid, but according to Wang itself, this is less expensive and expensive in the purification phase. Formic acid can be regarded as an energy carrier: “It is a cell fuel that can generate electricity and emit carbon dioxide, which you can collect and recycle again,” Wang himself said in the press release.
It can be used as a raw material for various chemical products and it is also fundamental for hydrogen storage because, as reported by the same researcher, “it can contain almost 1000 times the energy of the same volume of hydrogen, which is difficult to compress.”
The reactor has already been tested by 100 hours of a continuous formic acid generation with negligible degradation levels of its components. However, the same reactor can also be easily modified to produce acetic acid, ethanol or propanol. Needless to say, the use of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas, can also be useful to reduce its own presence, for example in the atmosphere.