Although much progress has been made over the past few decades in improving air quality, serious environmental problems attributed to uncontrolled emission of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (NH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs)) into the atmosphere remain. In particular, the reduction of carbon dioxide emission has been constantly the object of many works in attempt to reduce its concentration in the atmosphere in order to attenuate the consequences of global warming. In this context, the catalytic conversion of CO2 to CO is highly desirable due to the potential use of CO and H2, known as syngas, in the manufacture of various products in different industrial processes. In this sense, the development of highly active and robust catalysts for the syngas production is a major scientific challenge. The reverse water gas shift (RWGS) process is a chemical reaction in which carbon dioxide reacts with hydrogen to form water and carbon monoxide of high purity. The use of nanomaterials, especially the metallic nanoparticles of Ni, and Cu, could play an important role in the RWGS reaction with potential application in the development of sustainable processes. In this context, this research project aims to develop new nickel and copper nanocatalysts with the required (sub)nanometer scale particles. Physico-chemical synthesis will be developed to achieve the desired catalytic properties such as high efficiency, selectivity and stability in the syngas production (CO and H2) by RWGS process. Nickel and copper nanocatalysts will be prepared by a novel and highly efficient sputtering deposition method, which allows better control of the size, shape and the chemical composition of the nanostructured materials. Moreover, complementary strategies will be implemented to prepare metallic catalysts with well-defined structural and textural properties in view of their specific application in the RWGS process.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: