Carbon conversion

Carbon capture and sequestration are high on the environmental agenda as measures we might take to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and ameliorate the effects of climate change. Now, a team in Singapore has developed an alternative approach that would involve recycling carbon dioxide from conventional fossil fuel burning power stations or trap the gas directly from the atmosphere. They have found a way to convert carbon dioxide efficiently into the useful raw material methanol under very mild conditions. The chemical technology based on an N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst and a silane as the reducing agent is described by Yugen Zhang and Jackie Ying at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in the journal Angewandte Chemie.