Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
News | Scientific result | Bio-inspired catalysis
CEA-Irig researchers are identifying a catalyst to produce methane directly from CO2.
Turning CO2 into methane using renewable electricity is a promising alternative to biogas production. Electrochemistry can provide the solution. The CO2 molecule, long considered as waste, can be transformed into many products at the electrode surface depending on the number of protons and electrons brought to it. The most common and simplest reactions involve only two electrons and two protons to form, for example, synthesis gas or formic acid. It is also possible to produce methane from CO2, but the reaction to obtain it directly is more complex, involving eight electrons and eight protons.
This challenge was taken up by teams of researchers from the IRIG, the Department of Molecular Chemistry at the University of Grenoble Alpes, and the Indian association for the cultivation of science in Kolkata (India), who have just described a nickel-iron-based catalyst capable of carrying out this reaction. Directly inspired by the active site of enzymes, the catalysts of the living world, this unique compound has a selectivity comparable to the best metal-based materials described so far.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.