Scientists develop strategies for using carbon dioxide

During the Kyoto conference, the associated countries decided to reduce the production of carbon dioxide. As such, Prof. Dr. Arno Behr of the Faculty of Chemical and Biological Engineering in Dortmund has developed two methods. As an expert, he has been researching the use and transformation of carbon dioxide into valuable raw materials for 25 years. He studies chemical reactions from the point of view of their cost-effectiveness and technical feasibility in test laboratories. His chair of "Development of chemical processes" is one of the
rare centers of competence on the chemistry of carbon dioxide in Germany.

The first process developed by Mr. Behr consists of activating the catalysis of a transition metal: carbon dioxide meets a metal, as in an automobile catalyst, is active and can react with hydrogen to form formic acid (E 236), which can then be
transforms into other valued products. A second example is the reaction of carbon dioxide with butadiene, which produces lactone, which can be used as a scent or as a base for the creation of plastics.

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The second process is the activation of microwave radiation which activates carbon dioxide molecules into a plasma. This can then react with natural gas to form a synthesis gas which can be used in the manufacture of alcohols or gasoline.

Of course, these processes only allow part of the CO2 to be transformed, but this is already a first step. The development of more practical solutions requires even more intensive research.

- Teacher. Dr. Arno Behr - tel: +49 231 755 2310, fax: +49 231 755 2311 -
email :
Sources: Depeche IDW, University of Dortmund Press Release,
Editor: Nicolas Condette,

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