Working under good conditions makes it easy to get a job done. But what if you could turn good to great? That’s what scientists did for a popular catalyst that drives the conversion of carbon dioxide into a promising feedstock known as formate. An Earth-abundant cobalt-based catalyst drives the reaction in a solvent with a super strong base that is expensive. With some back-of-the-envelope calculations, Dr. Eric Wiedner and his colleagues at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory predicted that the cobalt catalyst could take a different reaction path to work in water with inexpensive sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda. The result? The catalyst is the best performing non-precious metal catalyst for converting carbon dioxide in water.
Water changes how cobalt-based molecule turns carbon dioxide into promising chemical