Anastasiya Bavykina

photo Bavykina

Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft 
Tel: *31 (0) 15 27 82108

Eco-friendly biorefinery fine chemicals from CO2 photo- catalytic reduction

The amount of  CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing. The conversion of this molecule may have a positive impact on the greenhouse gases (GHG) emission. The potential of making CO2 reused provides a scientific challenge, because CO2 is an extremely stable molecule. The current reuse of  CO2 is about 120 Mt/y, mostly in urea production (for year 2010), [1] what is actually a minor impact on the GHG emission. Several new ways for the chemical activation of CO2 have been already established, incorporation of CO2 in polymers and synthesis of acrylic acid are among them [2]. These approaches are interesting but still risky due to the low productivities and yields. 

The Eco2CO2 has a concept of  transforming CO2 to methanol via photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) reactor and its subsequent use for the upgrading the by-products of lignocellulosic  biorefinery. So this approach has double positive effect – contribution for the reduction of GHG emission and the utilizing of the by-products of the used reaction. Making this approach real, the project has the goal to prove the fact that some fine chemicals can be produced from lignocellulosic biomass using solar energy in a more economically effective and competitive way compared to synthesis of them from the oil. 

This particular project deals with the development of Metal Organic Framework (MOF) and Covalent Organic Frameworks (COF) based catalytic system for CO2 reduction. 

The main steps to achieve these objectives are:

  • Synthesis of ultra-stable and conductive MOFs to act as hosts for metal nanoparticles and polioxometalate (POM)-metal nanoparticle composites. Two approaches can be exploited. Encapsulation of the Cu nanoparticles in the MOF scaffold during the synthesis is the first one. And the second one is using polyoxometalates (POM) immobilized in the MOF cavities as nanoparticles support.[3]
  • Concentration of the CO2 within the MOF framework and its activation via the required multi-proton and multi-electron transport. The gas storage and adsorptive separation are among well-known application of MOFs [4]. Moreover, they have excellent and very selective CO2 adsorption/absorption characteristics. 
  • Conversion of the activated CO2 to methanol.


[1] MacDowell, N., Florin, N., Buchard, A., Hallett, J., Galindo, A., et al. Energy Environ. Sci., 2010, 3, 1645.

[2] Aresta M., C. Pastore, P. Giannoccaro, G. Kovacs, A. Dibenedetto, and I. Papai, Chem.–Eur. J., 2007, 13, 9028–9034.

[3] Juan-Alcañiz J., Ramos-Fernandez E. V., Lafont V., Gascon J., Kapteijin F., J. Catal., 2010, 269, 229-241

[4] Liu J., Thallapally P.K., McGrail B.P., Brown D.R. and Liu J., Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 2308–2322