Designing bifunctional catalysts for the one-pot conversion of CO2 to sustainable marine transportation fuels

Maciej G. Walerowski, Matthew E. Potter, Elizabeth S. Burke, Stylianos Kyrimis, Lindsay Marie Armstrong, Robert Raja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Meeting ambitious net-zero targets will require the replacement of marine fossil fuels with sustainable alternatives such as dimethyl ether (DME). DME is non-toxic, can be fully produced via a circular carbon economy and can be rapidly deployed due to its compatibility with existing liquid petroleum gas infrastructure. One-pot production of DME from CO2via a methanol intermediate is achieved by combining redox and Brønsted or Lewis acid sites. Herein, we have synthesised, characterised and tested a variety of bifunctional CuZnO/silicoaluminophosphate catalysts for the one-pot production of DME. A range of synthetic approaches were employed to combine the redox and acidic functionalities in order to derive synthesis-structure-property correlations to guide the design of improved catalysts. We found that a CuZnO/SAPO-34 catalyst made via impregnation and drying can achieve 80% DME selectivity with no detectable toxic CO by-product formation. High acid site abundance resulted in extensive dehydration of the intermediate methanol, which increased localised water production, suppressing the CO-forming reverse water gas shift reaction and thus yielding exceptional DME selectivity that is amongst the highest in literature.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalCatalysis Science and Technology
Early online date2 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis


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