Catalysis for CO2 conversion: a key technology for rapid introduction of renewable energy in the value chain of chemical industries
Replacement of part of the fossil fuel consumption by renewable energy, in particular in the chemical industry, is a central strategy for resource and energy efficiency. This perspective will show that CO2 is the key molecule to proceed effectively in this direction. The routes, opportunities and barriers in increasing the share of renewable energy by using CO2 reaction and their impact on the chemical and energy value chains are discussed after introducing the general aspects of this topic evidencing the tight integration between the CO2 use and renewable energy insertion in the value chain of the process industry. The focus of this perspective article is on the catalytic aspects of the chemistries involved, with an analysis of the state-of-the-art, perspectives and targets to be developed. The reactions discussed are the production of short-chain olefins (ethylene, propylene) from CO2, and the conversion of carbon dioxide to syngas, formic acid, methanol and dimethyl ether, hydrocarbons via Fischer–Tropsch synthesis and methane. The relevance of availability, cost and environmental footprints of H2 production routes using renewable energies is addressed. The final part discusses the possible scenario for CO2 as an intermediary for the incorporation of renewable energy in the process industry, with a concise roadmap for catalysis needs and barriers to reach this goal.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Catalysis for Clean Energy