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Catalyst Could Improve Conversion of Waste CO2 to Useful Formate

CO<sub>2</sub> molecules floating in the sky.
Credit: Malte Reimold/ Pixabay
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Hydrogenation of carbon dioxide (CO2) to formate, an important chemical widely used in leather, textile, mining industry, etc., is an attractive atom-economic route for the utilization of this greenhouse gas.

Non-precious metal-based catalysts for the CO2 hydrogenation to formate suffered from either low activity or low stability. It's still a challenge to develop low-cost and high-performance catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation to formate.

Recently, a research group led by Prof. DENG Dehui from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) developed an edge-rich molybdenum disulfide (ER-MoS2) catalyst for CO2 hydrogenation to formate with superior activity and high stability.

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The study was published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. on July 20 and was selected as hot paper and inside back cover.

In this study, the ER-MoS2 with abundant edges delivered a high TOF of 780.7 h-1 with formate selectivity of over 99% at 200 °C, and exhibited a good stability.

Multiple experimental characterizations combined with theoretical calculations revealed that sulfur vacancies at MoS2 edges were the active sites and the selective production of formate was enabled via a new water-mediated hydrogenation mechanism, in which surface OH* and H* species from H2O dissociation on the edge-sulfur vacancies served as moderate hydrogenating agents with residual O* reduced by H2.

"This work opens new avenue for developing low-cost non-noble metal catalysts for the hydrogenation of CO2 to formate and the revealed water-mediated reaction mechanism also provides insights for designing MoS2-based catalysts for selective hydrogenation reactions," said Prof. DENG.

Reference: Wang Z, Kang Y, Hu J, et al. Boosting CO2 hydrogenation to formate over edge-sulfur vacancies of molybdenum disulfide. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023:e202307086. doi: 10.1002/anie.202307086

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