Method found by Polish and Russian scientists.

Material, allowing more than 20 times to improve the efficiency of production of advanced methanol fuel has been developed by scientists at the National research University MIET, together with colleagues from the Lodz technical University (Lodz, Poland). The results were published in the journal Topics in Catalysis, reports

Turning carbon dioxide into fuel such as a methanol — effective way of reducing toxic emissions, according to the study authors. The optimal solution, in their opinion, is the use of this renewable energy.

Today, the synthesis of methanol from CO2 is mainly carried out photocatalytic method in which reaction proceeds at the expense of light energy. However, the titanium oxide used as the photocatalyst responds only to ultraviolet light, amounting to only five percent of sunlight.

In order to take full advantage of the Sun’s energy, scientists modified the surface of titanium oxide metal nanoparticles. It turned out that the combination of titanium oxide with some metals allows the catalyst to capture energy as the visible spectrum covering most of the solar light.

“We have shown that surface modification of TiO2 particles of metals increases the rate of formation of methanol in the 22 times. The most active were particles of platinum and Nickel. The development of this technology will allow to synthesize organic matter without the use of complex equipment required in the classical method of synthesis” — said senior researcher of the Institute of perspective materials and technologies of the national research UNIVERSITY MIET Sergey Dubkov.

According to him, for the manufacture of a modified photocatalyst is used either vacuum evaporation of metals and subsequent deposition on the titanium oxide, or the annealing of oxide powder is impregnated with salts of metals.

To study the structure of the obtained materials were used x-ray diffraction analysis and scanning electron microscopy.

In the future, the team intends to develop a hybrid photocatalytic system, adapted to operation in the visible spectrum and is able to solve tasks such as the synthesis of organic fuel and water cleaning from organic pollutants and production of hydrogen and oxygen by decomposition of water.