Recently, the International Energy Agency released its monthly report on the oil market. Affected by hot weather and soaring natural gas prices, some countries have had to change their ways of generating electricity and switch to oil-fired power generation, according to the report. At the same time, European industries, including oil refining, are also switching to fuel, so global oil demand this year will grow faster than previously forecast. The International Energy Agency expects global oil demand to be 99.7 million barrels a day in 2022. The IEA also said international oil prices had fallen to $30 a barrel from a peak in June due to increased oil supplies and heightened concerns about a deteriorating economic outlook.
Recently, Turkey and Russia have reached an agreement in principle to use rubles to pay for part of Russian natural gas, and the time and price of gas supply will be determined in the near future, Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources said. At the same time, the two sides are discussing the possibility of using the Turkish lira to cover part of the transit transport costs. On the 5th of this month, the presidents of Russia and Turkey held a meeting in Sochi. The two sides agreed that the two countries would start using rubles to settle part of Russia's natural gas supplies to Turkey.
Because of the turbulent international situation, the supply and prices of many international bulk molybdenum powder are still very uncertain.
Molybdenum (Mo) is a key component of electrochemical hydride transfer catalysts for KAUST researchers. Based on this, molybdenum-based catalysts make sustainable fuel and chemical manufacturing one step closer to the real reality. Platinum has been the preferred catalyst for electrochemical hydride transfer for a long time, and this chemical process has the potential to produce valuable chemicals or carbon-free fuels.
However, because platinum is a scarce and expensive precious metal, the use of this technology is severely limited. Magnus Rueping and his team have shown that molybdenum, a more abundant and affordable metal, has the potential to replace platinum in the process. Molybdenum sulphide and other molybdenum-based catalysts have successfully shown the prospect of hydride transfer electrocatalysis, but the reason for their high activity, especially the role of molybdenum in it, is still a mystery.
To see the effect of molybdenum sulphide electrocatalysts in real time, the researchers used a method called electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). Bau added: "to our surprise, we were able to capture it throughout the process. We can capture the active state of the catalyst. Mo3+ binds directly to hydrogen. "
Molybdenum ions directly involved in the hydride transfer process may produce better catalysts. If we can demonstrate a cohesion theory of how molybdenum is responsible for hydride transfer activities, we can focus on improving molybdenum to replace platinum, or we can develop new molybdenum catalysts as cheaper alternatives to platinum, "Bau added.
One potential use of this catalyst is to split water molecules by electrochemical methods to produce hydrogen, which can be stored and transported as fuel. The researchers also demonstrated that the catalyst has great potential in improving enzyme biocatalysts for the production of green chemicals.
Enzymes often cooperate with the natural energy-carrying molecule NADH to catalyze reactions in cells. However, the price of NADH makes it impractical in industrial biocatalysis. However, molybdenum hydride produced by electrochemical method has been proved to be quite effective in in situ regeneration of NADH in biochemical reaction flasks.
Professor Magnus Rueping, from the KAUST research team, said: "We are surprised by the efficiency of this process, which produces pure NADHt while avoiding by-products. Molybdenum-based catalysts provide the possibility of making sustainable fuels and compounds through enzymes. "
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