Decarbonisation Technology - November 2023 Issue

Benefits and challenges The use of waste CO₂ to synthesise alternative fuels and petrochemicals offers several benefits, such as emission reduction, resource efficiency, diversification, and technological innovation. However, challenges such as technological scalability, cost-effectiveness, and the need for sustainable energy sources must be overcome to fully realise the potential of waste CO₂ utilisation. Collaborative ecosystems Transitioning to a circular economy requires collaborative efforts across the entire value chain. Industries, governments, and academia must work together to create an ecosystem that fosters innovation and knowledge sharing. • Industries as enablers: Collaborative cross- sector partnerships dissolve silos, allowing industries to exchange expertise and adopt circular practices collectively. This synergy ensures the real-world application of circular principles and collaborative innovation. • Government support and alignment: Government bodies, working hand-in-hand with industries, can establish regulatory frameworks that provide a clear direction and incentivise sustainable practices. A supportive regulatory environment can thus catalyse the transformation to a circular economy. • Academia’s research contribution: Collaborating with academia infuses research insights and technical knowledge into circular initiatives. Joint research projects and technology transfer foster the development of cutting-edge solutions that bridge theory and practical implementation. • Nurturing innovation ecosystems: Collaborative platforms cultivate innovation, enabling ongoing idea exchange, refinement, and improvement. This dynamic environment accelerates innovation while aligning strategies with real-world challenges. • Accelerated sustainable technology development: Collaborative efforts enable pooled resources for research and development, expediting the creation of advanced recycling technologies and optimised bio-based feedstock production. These technologies underpin circular practices.

powered by renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, generates hydrogen from water. Green hydrogen not only serves as a reducing agent for CO₂ conversion but also addresses another critical environmental challenge: the decarbonisation of hydrogen production itself. By utilising renewable energy sources for electrolysis, the entire process becomes carbon- neutral or even carbon-negative. w CO₂ conversion: In the presence of green hydrogen, captured CO₂ is chemically converted through processes like Fischer- Tropsch synthesis or methanol synthesis. These reactions yield hydrocarbons or liquid fuels, which serve as alternative energy sources. x Fuel refining: The synthesised hydrocarbons undergo further refining and treatment to meet specific fuel standards. This ensures compatibility with existing infrastructure and engines. “ Through advanced chemical processes, CO₂ can be transformed into a variety of building blocks that serve as raw materials for producing plastics, polymers, and other essential petrochemical products ” CO₂ can be utilised to synthesise various petrochemicals. Through advanced chemical processes, CO₂ can be transformed into a variety of building blocks that serve as raw materials for producing plastics, polymers, and other essential petrochemical products. This approach reduces the reliance on traditional fossil feedstocks while reducing carbon emissions. For instance, waste CO₂ can be converted into ethylene, a critical precursor for manufacturing a wide range of plastics. By utilising CO₂ as a feedstock, the industry can decrease its dependence on fossil fuel-derived ethylene and mitigate its environmental impact. Furthermore, this process contributes to the circular economy by reusing carbon resources and minimising waste generation. Petrochemical applications In addition to alternative fuels, waste


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