Methanol is a very promising chemical hydrogen carrier molecule. The well-established industrial methanol synthesis process is a reference case for the desired sustainable synthesis from CO2 and “green” hydrogen. The catalyst employed in this process has been studied intensively and recent results demonstrate significant progress in the understanding of methanol synthesis from CO2, which are surveyed in this contribution. The next step is the employment of this new knowledge basis for the development of new and better catalytic materials. The major challenges are related to synthetic inorganic chemistry for an increased Cu dispersion, defect generation in metallic nanoparticles for a higher concentration of active sites, and surface/interface design between the two major catalyst components Cu and ZnO, which seems to be controlled to some extent by the presence of suitable promoters in the ZnO lattice.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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