Rank captured carbon dioxide products by climatic benefits

Graphical abstraction. Credit: DOI: 10.1021 / acs.est.1c01109

Extracting heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the air into a useful product is a concept called carbon recovery and utilization, which can bring both environmental and economic benefits.

According to some optimistic estimates, CCUs have the potential to generate over $ 800 billion in annual revenue by 2030 while curbing climate change. Carbon dioxide emissions Up to 15%. Captured CO2 It may be used in the production of concrete and other building materials, fuels, plastics, and various chemicals and minerals used in industry, agriculture, medicine, etc.

But which of these products is most useful for the climate? To date, there has been no comprehensive study comparing the full range of climatic benefits of potential CCU-derived products.

A new study at the University of Michigan fills that critical gap by analyzing the 20 potential uses captured. carbon Carbon dioxide falls into three categories: concrete, chemicals and minerals, and is ranked by climatic benefits. Previous studies have shown that using CCUs to manufacture products in these three categories can consume up to 6.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide annually by 2050.

UM researchers found only four of the 20 “CCU pathways” analyzed, two that use CO.2 Manufacturing concrete and the two that use it to make chemicals has a greater than 50% chance of producing net climatic benefits. The net climatic advantage means that the emissions avoided by using CCU technology outweigh the emissions generated during the acquisition of CO.2 And make the final product.

The study, conducted by researchers at UM’s School of Environment and Sustainability and the Center for Sustainable Systems in the Department of UM Mechanical Engineering, was published online in the journal on August 22nd. Environmental science and technology..

“The decision to expand CCU operations globally requires guidance to identify products that maximize the climatic benefits of using captured CO.2“. The lead author, Dwarak Ravikumar, is a former postdoctoral fellow at UM’s Center for Sustainable Systems, currently at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

“Our rankings help us prioritize R & D strategies for products with the highest climate benefits, while avoiding routes that place a heavy burden on the climate and have little chance of improvement,” Ravikumar said. Says.

New research is also currently more if electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as wind power is supplied to the grid to offset fossil fuel emissions instead of being used to manufacture CCU products. He also showed that it often leads to significant climatic benefits. According to the authors of the study, it will change over time as fossil fuels are gradually phased out.

“Currently, there is a great opportunity to reduce carbon emissions by using it. Renewable energy source Rather than investing in many CCU technologies, it will replace fossil fuel-based power generation. “

“This study is important to prioritize and guide the future development and deployment of CCU technology, especially as the energy supply decarbonizes,” Keoleian said.

For carbon recovery and utilization, carbon dioxide can be removed from the flue gas at facilities such as power plants and cement plants, or removed from the surrounding air through a process called direct air recovery. UM studies assume that carbon dioxide was recovered from natural gas power plants.

In their study, UM researchers determined the material and energy lifecycle carbon dioxide footprints needed to manufacture CCU products and set those values ​​as the materials needed to manufacture traditional versions of those products. Compared with energy. They have developed a climate change return on investment indicator to rank and prioritize CCU products.

The four CCU pathways, which have a greater than 50% chance of producing net climatic benefits, include two methods of mixing concrete using carbon dioxide and one method of mixing concrete. I did. Formic acid Through hydrogenation of carbon carbon dioxide, And one way to make carbon monoxide from methane.

Formic acid is used as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed, and is used for leather tanning and fiber dyeing. Carbon monoxide is used in a variety of industrial processes such as synthetic chemicals and metallurgy.

“While focusing on four technologies, many of the other technologies featured in this study offer climatic benefits under the right boundary conditions and produce the products we need. These benefits. The options for achieving this are only further limited. In this study, it is represented as a possibility. climate Profit “. Research co-author Volker Sick is a UM professor of mechanical engineering and director of Global CO.2 Initiative.

CCU is different Carbon capture And quarantine (CCS), which includes sucking carbon dioxide And bury it underground.

The use of captured carbon dioxide in daily necessities can help fight climate change, but do consumers want them?

For more information:
Dwarakanath Ravikumar et al, Assessing the Relative Climate Impact of Carbon Utilization for Concrete, Chemical, and Mineral Production, Environmental science and technology (2021). DOI: 10.1021 / acs.est.1c01109

Quote: Https: // Captured by climatic effects (August 25, 2021) obtained on August 25, 2021 Carbon dioxide product ranking

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Rank captured carbon dioxide products by climatic benefits

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