Direct Catalytic Synthesis of Acetic Acid from CO2 and CH4

Institute of Gas Technology

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The current method for producing acetic acid uses carbon monoxide (CO) and methanol, and emits CO2. The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has developed a technology that uses CO2 from GHGs and natural gas (CH4) to produce acetic acid. The innovation in GTI’s process removes the need for purchasing methanol, provides a net reduction of CO2 emissions, and reduces the energy needed to produce the same amount of acetic acid. With a growing demand for acetic acid in Asia and the United States, Alberta would be poised to become a key producer.

With GTI’s approach, CO2 is reacted with CH4 from natural gas in a two-step isothermal, catalytic process. The intermediates from the process yield acetic acid and ethanol with minimal net H2 consumption and a net CO2 reduction. This two-step catalytic process replaces the conventional method for producing acetic acid using carbon monoxide and methanol, providing a cheaper, more efficient method of producing acetic acid.