A research team of SUN Jian and GE Qingjie at CAS DICP reported a CO2 hydrogenation to olefin process that reaches 72% selectivity and produces 50.3% of heavy alkenes (C4-C18), among which linear α-olefins account for 80%. The process is catalyzed by carbon-supported iron, commonly used in C-C coupling reactions, with multiple alkali promoters extracted from waste biomass such as corncobs. The mineral elements from corncob may promote the surface enrichment of potassium, suppressing secondary hydrogenation of alkenes on active sites. Furthermore, the carburization of iron species was enhanced to form more Fe5C2 species, achieving a good match of reverse water-gas shift reaction and subsequent C-C coupling.

CAS news release, March 26, 2018