Conversion of CO2 into value-added Products
North Carolina State University
Modular Chemical Inc.
Carbon dioxide can be potentially used as a feedstock for producing valuable products displacing conventional hydrocarbons. Since CO2 is a very stable molecule, any reactions involving decomposition of CO2 will require large amount of carbon-free energy (either electricity or hydrogen) to enable this pathway. With availability of low-cost renewable electricity, this pathway has the potential to produce valuable products from CO2, provided advanced catalysts, process designs, electrochemical and biological routes can be developed. Any carbon credits like 45Q in the United States will help in the overall economics by claiming the credit for CO2 use.
PROJECT INNOVATION + ADVANTAGES
Susteon is supporting a number of technology development projects in catalytic and electrochemical conversion of CO2 into a variety of products. These projects include:
- Susteon is partnering with North Carolina State University (NCSU) on “Sustainable Conversion of Carbon Dioxide and Shale Gas to Green Acetic Acid via a Thermochemical Cyclic Redox Scheme”. NCSU and Susteon are developing a comprehensive proof-of-concept through laboratory testing for sustainable and cost-effective production of acetic acid, a critical building block for the plastic industry, from CO2 and domestic shale gas. The key innovations are novel redox materials with the ability to reduce CO2 to make CO and oxidize methane into syngas (then to methanol). Methanol and CO react to form acetic acid, thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint of acetic acid production.
- Susteon developed a novel catalytic reactor design incorporating a unique microporous alumina membrane for dehydroaromatization (DHA) of methane into benzene with selective permeation of H2 and subsequent reaction of this permeated H2 with CO2 to form methane, resulting into a highly intensified process scheme for benzene production. This enables efficient conversion of CO2 into a high value chemical–benzene. Benzene production in the novel membrane reactor was demonstrated at the North Carolina State University laboratories, showing the ability for intensified benzene production from methane with simultaneous H2 extraction. Process models and techno-economic analyses developed by Susteon show the potential of the technology to utilize nearly 250,000 tonne per year of CO2, equivalent to eliminating over 58,000 passenger vehicles off the road in the U.S.
- Susteon is partnering with Lectrolyst LLC to develop an electrochemical platform centered on selective two-step conversion of CO2 to acetic acid and ethylene.
- Susteon and its partners are developing a microwave-assisted catalytic technology for conversion of CO2 and CH4 intodimethyl ether (DME) in a process-intensified modular reactor system.
- Susteon is partnering with NCSU to support development of “A Novel Molten Salt System for CO2-Based Oxidative Dehydrogenation with Integrated Carbon Capture”. In this project, a proof-of-concept for production of propionic acid and C3/C4 olefins from CO2 in power plant flue gas and domestic shale gas will be demonstrated.
Successful development of CO2 conversion pathways to produce valuable products (which currently use fossil hydrocarbons as a feed) can potentially lead to significant reduction in CO2 emissions and enable us to achieve the ‘circular carbon economy’ vision.