The metal copper plays a major role as a catalyst in the synthesis of regenerative methanol from CO2 and electrolytically produced hydrogen. Methanol is a versatile chemical feedstock that is also becoming increasingly important for the energy sector, both as a fuel additive for combustion engines and as an energy carrier in fuel cells. According to a DECHEMA study, up to 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions per tonne of methanol could be avoided if methanol were not synthesized from fossil raw materials, but from CO2 or other regenerative raw materials (A.M. Bazzanella, F. Ausfelder, DECHEMA e.V. Technology Study – Low carbon energy and feedstock for the European chemical industry, DECHEMA, 2017). The catalysts for methanol synthesis are produced from copper-containing solutions, nowadays using complex precipitation processes over several intermediate stages. “In order to save energy, time and resources during catalyst synthesis on an industrial scale, we have optimized the process for continuous operation,” explains Dr. Lénárd Csepei, who has played a large part in the work at the BioCat branch in Straubing and filed a patent application for the process. Another patent-pending method for catalyst synthesis is based on the dissolution of metal compounds in so-called deep eutectic solvents. With these methods, catalysts of different elemental compositions can be produced and their efficiency optimized – not only for the production of methanol, but also for other chemical and electrochemical synthesis processes.