Recent advances in light olefins production from catalytic hydrogenation of carbon dioxide

Thanapha Numpilai, Chin Kui Cheng, Jumras Limtrakul, Thongthai Witoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Increasing concerns of global warming problems caused by rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere have driven many activities and researches for the reduction of CO2 emission. A huge CO2 emission has been discharged from industrial sectors arising from materials processing. Therefore, the development of efficient processes for the reduction of CO2 emission in the industry sector is vital. One of promising ways is to utilize CO2 as a carbon source for the production of high value-added chemicals including light olefins. In order to make the CO2-to-light olefin process feasibility in terms of economic point of view, efficient catalysts are essential for maximizing selectivity and yield of light olefins. This review summarizes recent progresses in rational design of catalytic system for CO2 conversion to light olefins. Two different paths for CO2 hydrogenation to light olefins, including the CO2−Fischer−Tropsch (CO2-FT) and oxygenate-mediated (like methanol, dimethyl ether, etc.), are compared in terms of catalytic performance and C2–C4 olefins productivity. In the CO2-FT route, the selective production of the desired C2–C4 olefins is the key goal of development with an emphasis on synergy control between active metals, promoters and supports for tuning the surface H/C ratio which significant relevance to the C2–C4 olefins formation. While, an improvement in activity with suppressing secondary reaction is imperative for achieving a high C2–C4 olefins productivity in oxygenate-mediated. Besides optimizing the catalyst components (i.e., metal oxide/zeolite mass ratios and zeolite acidity) as well as operating conditions, the distance control of the two active components is another crucial to reach the satisfactory performance. Recently, a novel catalytic system using multifunctional catalysts composed of In2O3/SAPO-34 and Fe-Co/K-Al2O3 catalysts provides an unprecedented high C2–C4 olefins productivity, shedding light on the prospects for economic competitiveness and growth in the market economy.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)401-427
Number of pages27
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • CO hydrogenation
  • CO−Fischer−Tropsch route
  • Light olefins
  • Oxygenate-mediated route


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