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Climate change: Carbon dioxide as a sustainable raw material

How sustainable are different approaches to use carbon dioxide as raw material instead of emitting it into the atmosphere? An ITAS team deals with this question in two projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Klimawandel: Kohlenstoffdioxid als nachhaltiger Rohstoff
The two projects want to avoid the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere and use it as a sustainable source of carbon instead. (Source: veeterzy/Unsplash)

High CO2 emissions are one of the main reasons for climate change. Around 90 percent result from the combustion of fossil fuels, for example in the energy sector and the industry. ITAS scientists want to improve this balance and utilize CO2 from industrial emissions as recyclable material. They pursue this goal together with their partners in two projects funded by the BMBF in the framework of the program “CO2 as a sustainable source of carbon – ways to an industrial use (CO2-WIN)“.

“Both projects aim at the photochemical recycling of CO2 into energetic and chemical value chains to reduce the impacts of climate change and the dependence from fossil fuels,” explains Andreas Patyk, project leader at ITAS. “The two projects pursue complementary approaches here to overcome the considerable obstacles to the industrial use of the basic concept, such as increasing the total yield and selectivity.“ 

In the CO2SimO project, the researchers develop a novel photoelectrochemical cell that can produce the important energy carrier methane as well as hydrogen peroxide as a valuable oxidant instead of the interfering oxygen.  The PRODIGY project avoids the formation of oxygen and enables the synthesis of higher products by adding suitable reactants to the photoreactor. ITAS is responsible for the R&D integrated sustainability assessments. To this end, the team assesses, among other things, environmental indicators, costs, and social aspects to provide the basis for the optimization of new processes. (04.05.2020)

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