Availability of CO2 : Potential routes for recovery and valorization

27 sept 2012
13:30 – 14:00

Availability of CO2 : Potential routes for recovery and valorization

Since the 90’s and the awareness of climatic risks due to GHG, important research efforts have be devoted to the reduction of atmospheric CO2, which is an outcome of many anthropic activities (energy production, industry, transportation…). Along with the improvement of CO2 emitting processes, the main strategy to address this issue has been Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), leading to a long-term underground sequestration of this « waste » compound.

However, taking into account the effective use of CO2 for several industrial applications, it became more and more evident that it could also be considered as a resource. In spite of its great thermodynamic stability, it is indeed an important carbon source which could enter the composition of many products (materials, chemicals, fuels…). The question of the actual value of CO2 has then arisen, but the question is complex due to the multiplicity of viewpoints for estimating this value in an industrial perspective : technical (products, use-property), economical, environmental… Moreover, the recycling of CO2 into a value-chain implies transformation (i.e. processes), which means energy consumption (rather decarbonated), other supplies, equipments… and further impacts. As a matter of fact, the global CO2 balance must be taken into account, according to a lifecycle vision, as well as other contextual (exogenous) factors like for instance the European ETS (Emission Trading Scheme).

This presentation will tackle different cost-impacting factors of CO2 re-use in relation with its availability : amounts (volumes), location (requirements for transport), purity  (treatment needs)… Il will also remind elements to be put in balance for the assessment of the actual added value : gain for the application, market conditions, regulation…

Significant technological improvements are necessary for making valid and profitable most developments considered in the field of CO2 recycling and this will be illustrated through examples of R&D programs underway at IFPEN for a better efficiency of CO2 capture and conversion.