Alcohols as Alternatives to Petroleum for Environmentally Clean Fuels and Petrochemicals


Abstract: In this review article, some of the challenging research areas related to the development of novel catalysts and catalytic processes for the chemical fixation of CO_2 by converting it to alcohols and ethers, and for the conversion of alcohols to olefins and other hydrocarbons are reviewed. Ethanol, methanol, and the ethers derived from them, such as DEE and DME, have good burning characteristics and may be considered attractive transportation fuel alternates. New processes for catalytic selective oxidation and dehydration of alcohols may open up new pathways for the production of olefins and other petrochemicals from non-petroleum feedstock. Developments in CO_2 capture and its chemical fixation processes will help reduce CO_2 emissions into the atmosphere and will produce alternative fuels to petroleum. All these new processes involve challenging catalysis research.

Keywords: Ethanol, methanol, bio-fuels, global warming, diethyl ether, dimethyl ether, selective oxidation, environmental catalysis, dehydration, CO_2 activation

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