A brief review on the reaction mechanisms of CO2 hydrogenation into methanol
The catalytic reduction of CO2 to methanol is an appealing option to reduce greenhouse gas concentration as well as renewable energy production. In addition, the exhaustion of fossil fuel, increase in earth temperature and sharp increases in fuel prices are the main driving factor for exploring the synthesis of methanol by hydrogenating CO2. Many studies on the catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol were published in the literature over the last few decades. Many of the studies have presented different catalysts having high stability, higher performance, low cost, and are immediately required to promote conversion. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the conversion of CO2 is essential as the first step towards creating these catalysts. This review briefly summarizes recent theoretical developments in mechanistic studies focused on using density functional theory, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, and microkinetics modeling. Based on these simulation techniques on different transition metals, metal/metal oxide, and other heterogeneous catalysts surfaces, mainly, three important mechanisms that have been recommended are the formate (HCOO), reverse water–gas shift (RWGS), and trans-COOH mechanisms. Recent experimental and theoretical efforts appear to demonstrate that the formate route in which the main intermediate species is H2CO* in the reaction route, is more favorable in catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 to chemical fuels in various temperature and pressure conditions.