A greenhouse gas and mild oxidant, CO2 can effect the oxidative dehydrogenation (CO2-ODH) of light alkanes over heterogeneous catalysts. These catalysts are bifunctional in that they mediate CO2 reduction while oxidizing the alkanes, most notably the C2–C4 components in shale gas. In this way, one obtains CO and alkenes as value-added products. Although desirable, this transformation has proven challenging in terms of catalyst design, with most catalysts for the CO2-ODH being metal oxides that typically undergo rapid deactivation. More recently, bimetallic catalysts have been identified as promising systems to activate alkanes by either selectively cleaving C–H bonds to produce alkenes or breaking all the C–C and C–H bonds to produce the dry reforming products CO and H2. This Review describes general trends in the CO2-ODH of light alkanes. We will also outline how to use a combined approach involving flow reactor experiments, in operando characterization and density functional theory to determine whether a catalyst is intrinsically active for CO2-ODH or dry reforming.
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The work is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Biosciences, and Geosciences, under contract no. DE-SC0012704. E.G. acknowledges the U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program: DGE-16-44869 and the Gates Millennium Scholarship Foundation.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Gomez, E., Yan, B., Kattel, S. et al. Carbon dioxide reduction in tandem with light-alkane dehydrogenation. Nat Rev Chem 3, 638–649 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-019-0128-9
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