High-performance hybrid oxide catalyst of manganese and cobalt for low-pressure methanol synthesis
Nature Communications 6, Article number: 6538
Carbon dioxide capture and use as a carbon feedstock presents both environmental and industrial benefits. Here we report the discovery of a hybrid oxide catalyst comprising manganese oxide nanoparticles supported on mesoporous spinel cobalt oxide, which catalyses the conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol at high yields. In addition, carbon–carbon bond formation is observed through the production of ethylene. We document the existence of an active interface between cobalt oxide surface layers and manganese oxide nanoparticles by using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy in the scanning transmission electron microscopy mode. Through control experiments, we find that the catalyst’s chemical nature and architecture are the key factors in enabling the enhanced methanol synthesis and ethylene production. To demonstrate the industrial applicability, the catalyst is also run under high conversion regimes, showing its potential as a substitute for current methanol synthesis technologies.