Novel spectroscopic methods shine a light on catalytic CO2 conversion
Carbon is the "backbone" not only of living organisms but also of hydrocarbon fuels such as methane and of many other naturally and industrially relevant molecules. As testament to its importance, organic chemistry is a field devoted entirely to carbon compounds. Carbon forms particularly stable bonds so breaking them and making new ones can be very tricky. Catalysis of CO2 could both provide carbon feedstock for carbon-based chemicals and minimise CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, but better catalysts are urgently needed. The EU-funded OpeSpeKin project is getting a closer look at catalysts in action to enhance their specificity, activity and efficiency.