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Technical/Commercial Opportunities and Challenges in Carbon Dioxide Utilization: The Catalyst Group Resources CO2 Capture and Conversion Program


Industry is seeking alternative solutions to sequestration which involve CO2 conversion into commercial products that can sustain a full “CO2 life cycle” approach. Ideally, using CO2 as a carbon feedstock to fuels, chemicals, polymers or any alternative to offset the cost of separation and conversion is seen as worthy of consideration and further pursuit.

Some key opportunities and challenges in carbon dioxide utilization include:

- Despite the substantial costs and technical hurdles involved in economically separating and concentrating CO2, its value as a resource for conversion to fuels and chemicals currently drives substantial research efforts at numerous companies and institutions.

- Although carbon capture and storage (CCS) is technically feasible today, its minimum cost average of $US 80-90 per metric ton makes alternatives viable (or at least of interest); however, each opportunity depends on the availability of technology as well as site specific criteria.

- Even assuming that power plant and refining/chemical CO2 can be captured economically, a huge issue remains of what to do with the massive volumes. Fuels appear to be the largest target, although a range of organic chemicals and chemical intermediates can be produced, including esters, carbamic esters, salicylic acid, and cyclic carbonates. The incorporation of carbon dioxide into polymers (e.g., polycarbonates, polypyrones, lactone intermediates, and polyurethanes) is also being pursued.

- Existing routes to CO2 –derived fuels, including direct hydrogenation (to methanol) and CO2 reforming using hydrocarbons (to syngas) are being supplemented with routes in which the stable C-O bond in CO2 is broken (making CO), although these technologies also have significant hurdles yet to be addressed.

In order to address these needs, The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR) is proposing its Carbon Dioxide Capture and Conversion (CO2CC) Program, a membership-directed consortium interested in developing, monitoring and utilizing the “state-of-the-art” in technological progress and commercial implementation of carbon dioxide capture and conversion for the production of fuels and chemicals. The objective is to document technically and commercially viable options for converting CO2 into useful products which meaningfully address the challenges posed by CO2 life-cycle and overall sustainability issues.


 CO2 Conversion
 Carbon Dioxide
 CO2 capture
 alternative energy

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