GREEN FUEL MANUFACTURING METHOD (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Infrastructure)

News-CRUX-10     1st August 2023        
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Context: Scientists devised a feasible method to produce molecular hydrogen from dehydrogenating simple feedstock chemicals like methanol and effectively transferred hydrogen to produce highly value-added chemicals and pharmaceuticals, with support from SERB, an attached institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Key Points

  • They used commercially available ruthenium complex under mild conditions as a catalyst to generate hydrogen from methanol through a clean chemical dehydrogenation reaction and used the applicability of methanol as a potential transfer hydrogenation agent for the catalytic reduction of various functional compounds. 
  • Methanol can act as a potential hydrogen carrier, which makes it very useful in synthetic organic chemistry since it is easier to store and transport than free hydrogen. 
  • Thus, the developed strategy opens a new avenue in both fundamental research and industrial applications for making bulk and fine chemicals.
  • Hydrogen is considered one of the cleanest sources of energy that can be easily obtained from indigestible biomass or bio-derived alcohols. 
  • Various methods can generate hydrogen, but the cost of hydrogen depends on how environmentally friendly and energy efficient the production process is. 
  • Water and methane are the main sources of hydrogen on Earth, but extracting pure hydrogen from them consumes a lot of energy through techniques such as natural gas reforming electrolysis, and water-splitting reactions.
  • Notably, methanol can serve as a potential candidate for a hydrogen source owing to its gravimetric hydrogen content of 12.6% and its effective conversion to H2 and CO2 as final products. 
  • Aqueous methanol can be considered as a potential source for the amplification of transfer hydrogenation and C1 chemistry.
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