Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Dual function catalyst/adsorbent combination for the production of fuels and chemicals

Technology #cu14301

One of the most common methods of carbon capture is the use of aqueous monoethanolamine (MEA) to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from waste streams. However, this process requires a significant amount of energy to separate the CO2 which must be transported elsewhere for processing. This technology describes a novel dual function material capable of capturing CO2 and converting it into synthetic natural gas (SNG) onsite with minimum energy input using renewable hydrogen generated from excess solar and/or wind energy . This process effectively eliminates the energy penalty associated with releasing captured CO2 and shipping it for further processing, and can therefore be utilized as a cost-effective and energy-saving means of converting CO2 to SNG or other specialty chemicals.

Catalyst/adsorbent combination captures and converts carbon dioxide onsite, saving costs and energy

This technology is composed of a transition metal catalyst (such as nickel or ruthenium) and a solid CO2 adsorbent, such as a nano-dispersed alkaline earth metal oxide, for the capture and conversion of CO2 within a single reactor. Specifically, CO2 is captured by the solid CO2 adsorbent and, with the addition of renewable hydrogen, converts the CO2 into synthetic natural gas. By doing so, this advanced material relieves the cost and energy associated with desorbing CO2 from the CO2 adsorbent and shipping captured CO2 for processing, and alleviates multiple energy and logistics challenges associated with CO2 conversion. The generated SNG is recycled to the front end of the power plant for reuse or injected into the existing pipeline.

This ability of this technology to effectively capture and convert CO2 to SNG has been demonstrated in the laboratory.

Lead Inventor:

Robert Farrauto, Ph.D.


  • On-site synthetic natural gas production from CO2 at industrial sites where excess renewable hydrogen is available
  • Partnerships between materials manufacturers and industrial sites
  • Methane and natural gas production for energy companies minimizing supply of imported natural gas
  • Most useful for power plants, breweries and other CO2 generating facilities


  • Converts captured carbon dioxide and through the addition of renewable hydrogen generates synthetic natural gas for reuse
  • Treats carbon dioxide onsite, without sequestration
  • Does not require the addition of heat in order to carry out CO2 desorption or conversion
  • Utilizes excess renewable electricity by generating hydrogen from water and storing it on site

Patent Information:

Patent Pending

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU14301

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