Manufacturers generally produce methanol from natural gas-derived syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Direct hydrogenation of carbon dioxide would be a more efficient and environmentally sustainable route to methanol. But practical catalysts capable of making this reaction happen on an industrial scale have been unavailable.

Javier Pérez-Ramírez of ETH Zurich and coworkers now demonstrate a catalyst that supported the process under conditions similar to those required for industrial production.

Read more on C&EN, Chemical & Engineering News 

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Vacancies on the surface of a ZrO2-supported In2O3 catalyst play a key role in converting CO2 to CH3OH.
Credit: Adapted from Qingfeng Ge & Javier Pérez-Ramírez