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Innovations at KNU

A team of researchers led by Dr. Hyun Woong Park of KNU has invented a new solar heat conversion catalyst for carbon dioxide to fluid formic acid by using solar heat. This research presents the possibility of creating added value to liquid fuel while reducing carbon emission by recycling CO2.
The catalyst semiconductor, which consists of iron and copper, collects solar heat and converts CO2 to fluid formic acid with more than 1% efficiency, a level of efficiency quite similar to that of natural photosynthesis, and 5 times more efficient than the world’s current most energy efficient conversion method which yields a percentage of just 0.2%. Because formic acid, a natural material discovered in ants, easily breaks down through biological process, it can replace toxic chemicals in fabric, food, pharmacy industries.
According to Dr. Park, research related to CO2 conversion has become quite prevalent around the world. He states:  “I hope this can lead Korea’s artificial photosynthesis research to the highest international level”.
The results of the research, which received support from the Korean Carbon Capture & Sequestration R&D Center, were published in the SCI journal Energy & Environmental Science, in August.
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