Capturing carbon dioxide through a methane reforming process

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As climate change becomes a priority on the global agenda, governments and industries are working hard to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

Through the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, countries are pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, CO2 has been recognised as a valuable carbon source that can be used for fuel or chemical production. This strategy may improve the economic competitiveness of the CO2 capture and storage plants and offer a pathway to close the carbon cycle within the human socioeconomic system.

Technologies that enable waste carbon dioxide to be captured and converted into useful compounds are in high demand. CO2 capture and utilisation are important pathways to reduce CO2 emissions. Although CO2 is a valuable resource to create valuable products which will lower the cost of CO2 capture, unfortunately, the conversion steps necessitate the use of high purity CO2 as a feedstock. This requires intensive energy input for the CO2 separation process in the capture stage. However, there are still many critical issues to solve to improve the economic potential of the CO2 capture and utilisation strategy.

Technology Overview

Oxford researchers have developed a practical solution to capture and in-situ convert CO2 within a single process. This reduces financial and energy costs with a simpler process and realises higher energy efficiency for the capture and conversion of CO2.


  • CO2 capture occurs quickly with high efficiency and can be in-situ activated without consuming huge amounts of energy.
  • There is no need to activate the catalyst by using hydrogen.
  • The in-situ CO2 conversion process is extremely fast using microwave-assisted catalysis. The microwaves can be originated from renewable electricity to avoid extra CO2 emission during the capture and in-situ conversion process.
  • The supported catalyst materials are easily available and earth-abundant, and our catalyst preparation method avoids the huge and detrimental emission of nitrogen oxides created by traditional methods.


The technology is the subject of a UK priority patent application with scope for international protection in the future. Oxford University Innovation would like to speak to potential industrial partners with an interest in developing the technology further.

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