The effect of greenhouse gases on the environment has been abysmal and has raised concerns amongst governments, international bodies, and environmentalists. However, a research conducted by the chemists at Brookhaven National Laboratory has enunciated a method wherein greenhouse gases could aid the production of propylene, a chemical that is short in supply. The chemists used a catalyst made of nickel and iron to accentuate a reaction between propane and greenhouse carbon dioxide to give propylene. The utility served by propylene in key items such as automobile parts, batteries, textiles, and clothing is tremendous. Owing to this reason, the synthesis of propylene through greenhouse gases could be a commendable breakthrough.
Global Dearth of Propylene
The process of steam cracking has been used for the production of propylene, but the amount of propylene currently being produced has not sufficed the global requirements. The low costs of shale gas have facilitated quick and easy production of ethylene, which has sidelined the production of propylene. One of the lead chemists at the laboratory believes that there is a need to invent technologies aimed at the production of propylene alone. The current technologies used for propylene production are energy-intensive because of which the propylene yield is not proportionate to the resources allocated towards it.
New Method for Propylene Production
The new method proposed by the chemists is believed to be more congenial and friendly for the environment. This is because carbon dioxide has been treated as a reactant and not a product during the reaction. The carbon dioxide acts as an oxidant that reacts with propane to give propylene.