NETPEC – Negative Emission Technologies based on PhotoElectroChemical methods

Project description

The main cause of man-made climate change is the significant increase in CO2 emissions since industrialization, most of which come from the combustion of fossil fuels. The first measure to achieve the set climate goals is therefore to avoid these emissions. In addition, the CO2 emissions of a number of industrial processes are inherent to the processes and can therefore only be avoided to a limited extent, if at all. To compensate for these emissions and to reduce atmospheric CO2 in general, technologies and processes are needed that bind CO2 from the atmosphere in the long term.

Objectives of the project:

  1. Development of light-absorbing and photocatalytic materials and a reaction cell that convert CO2 photoelectrochemically or electrochemically into storable products. Various products are conceivable, including oxalate or graphite.
  2. Development of an overall design of the process chain from CO2 capture from the air to final storage of the fixed CO2 according to climatic consequences and geological prerequisites of the concept.

Technologies as described in the NETPEC project are still at the beginning of their development. ITAS will conduct R&D-integrated sustainability analysis and optimization in close cooperation with the technical partners. This will enable the use of sustainability information already in early phases. The life cycle concept will be used for the analysis in order to cover not only the main processes but also unavoidable upstream and downstream processes. These processes include, for example, material and energy supply, recycling, and disposal. Sustainability dimensions and assessment methods:

  • Environment: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Economy: Life Cycle Costing (LCC)
  • Society: Social LCA (sLCA)

The starting point of the ITAS work is formed by essential project-specific definitions: System boundaries (processes considered), parameters (e.g., efficiencies, interest rates, lifetimes), impacts (e.g., climate change, human toxicity), and indicators (e.g., CO2 equivalents) are defined. The fundamental part of all analyses is the development of energy, material, and cost models that directly describe ecological and economic impacts and properties. Furthermore, this information is linked with economic and social statistics to gain insights into the social impacts of the NETPEC technologies.


Dr. Andreas Patyk
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24606