UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, and the University of Southern California’s (USC) Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute will partner to develop and commercialize new technology to transform carbon dioxide into cleaner-burning alternative fuels.
USC has developed fundamental chemistry to transform carbon dioxide to methanol or dimethyl ether. The agreement grants UOP exclusive access rights for commercialization of technology and intellectual property developed by USC researchers for production of methanol, dimethyl ether and other chemicals from carbon dioxide. UOP and USC will jointly work on development for a commercially viable process.
The development of this technology could have significant impact on global energy security, and global warming by converting carbon dioxide into useful products and making new clean fuel technologies available to UOP customers worldwide.—George A. Olah, Nobel Laureate (Chemistry, 1994) and director of Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute
UOP already has commercial technology that uses methanol as a key intermediate in petrochemicals production. We believe methanol can also be a viable option for transportation fuels in the future. The partnership between UOP and USC is aimed at achieving the breakthroughs needed to make this happen.—Carlos A. Cabrera, UOP President and CEO
There are two basic approaches to the reductive conversion of carbon dioxide (from industrial exhausts and eventually CO2 of the air) to methanol: catalytic hydrogenation or electrochemically in water.
Olah is co-author of Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy (Wiley-VCH, 2006).
Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy (George Olah presentation)