The team has been awarded for the discovery, fundamental understanding, and technical development of a novel catalytic technology for the recycling of carbon dioxide to produce sustainable methanol.
New technologies that utilise carbon dioxide are crucial for achieving global targets to overcome our reliance on fossil fuels in the fight against climate change. The Sustainable Methanol team, formed by scientists from the López group at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), ETH Zürich, TotalEnergies, and the Paul Scherrer Institute has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Horizon Prize, the John Jeyes Award 2022.
The Horizon Prizes celebrate the most exciting, contemporary chemical discoveries and innovations. These awards are for teams or collaborations who are opening up new directions and possibilities in their field, through ground-breaking scientific developments.
The Sustainable Methanol team’s work offers a technically viable solution for recycling carbon dioxide to produce methanol – an essential chemical commodity. In this project, the team discovered a new family of catalytic materials based on indium oxide – these materials show excellent performance in converting carbon dioxide to methanol. By carefully controlling the architecture of the catalytic material at the nanoscale, they have been able to demonstrate an industrially feasible process.
“Our new approach to produce methanol is sustainable, energy and cost efficient, and can be carried out at an industrial scale. New technologies for carbon dioxide utilisation are crucial for achieving global goals of overcoming the reliance on fossil resources and mitigating climate change,” explains Prof. Núria López, ICIQ group leader and member of the Sustainable Methanol team.