Synthesis of amorphous molybdenum disulfide and tungsten disulfide to be used as a catalyst for carbon dioxide reduction

Student Name: 
Camille Killeen
UCD Department: 
Department of Chemistry
UCD Mentor: 
Jesus Velazquez

Atmospheric carbon dioxide can be used in the carbon dioxide reduction reaction to produce fuels such as 1-propanol, methane, acetate, ethylene glycol and formate from the CO2 reduction using amorphous molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and tungsten disulfide (WS2) as catalysts. Wet chemical synthesis of these catalysts has been performed and their efficacy for this reaction has been investigated. The MoS2 and the WS2 were characterized to confirm their chemical composition and that they were amorphous. The catalysts were tested as thin films on silicon wafers at a potential of -1.6 V for 15 coulombs (24 hours), testing the efficacy through nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to discover the products of the CO2 reduction. While all of the previously mentioned products are useful, the most impressive was 1-propanol. This research may lead to a practical, cost-effective way to produce these fuels from atmospheric CO2 as a renewable source of energy.