I want to immediately clarify a concept: the carbon monoxide is an essential molecule for the modern reality. The latter, together with molecular hydrogen (H2), form a very dear to the chemical mixture called syngas. Syngas, or synthesis gas, is to be the starting point for many of the worlds synthesis of organic and inorganic industrial chemicals.
Consider, for example, that starting from carbon monoxide and molecular hydrogen is synthesized methanol. The methanol, in turn, is involved in the synthesis of many compounds of high importance (acetic acid, formaldehyde, …), and these compounds in turn generate many materials that characterize our daily life. In short, its importance is high.
How to produce the syngas? In industrial practice, there are several possible ways:
Steam Reforming (SR): This reaction involves the interaction between the hydrocarbon molecules and water, to form CO and H2. Considering the simplest hydrocarbon species (methane), the reaction is as follows: