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Can We Afford to Waste Carbon Dioxide? Carbon Dioxide as a Valuable Source of Carbon for the Production of Light Olefins

Authors

  • Prof. Gabriele Centi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale ed Ingegneria dei Materiali, University of Messina and INSTM/CASPE, V.le F. Stagno D'Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina (Italy), Fax: (+39) 090 391518
    • Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale ed Ingegneria dei Materiali, University of Messina and INSTM/CASPE, V.le F. Stagno D'Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina (Italy), Fax: (+39) 090 391518
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  • Dr. Gaetano Iaquaniello,

    1. Tecnimont KT S.p.A. Viale Castello della Magliana 75, 00148 Rome (Italy)
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  • Prof. Siglinda Perathoner

    Corresponding author
    1. Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale ed Ingegneria dei Materiali, University of Messina and INSTM/CASPE, V.le F. Stagno D'Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina (Italy), Fax: (+39) 090 391518
    • Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale ed Ingegneria dei Materiali, University of Messina and INSTM/CASPE, V.le F. Stagno D'Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina (Italy), Fax: (+39) 090 391518
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Concerns about climate change have increased the amount of activity on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) as one of the solutions to the problem of rising levels of CO2 in the troposphere, while the reuse of CO2 (carbon capture and recycling; CCR) has only recently received more attention. CCR is focused on the possibility of using CO2 as a cheap (or even negative-value) raw material. This Concept paper analyzes this possibility from a different perspective: In a sustainable vision, can we afford to waste CO2 as a source of carbon in a changing world faced with a fast depletion of natural carbon sources and in need of a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy? One of the points emerging from this discussion concerns the use of CO2 for the production of olefins (substituting into or integrating with current energy-intensive methodologies that start from oil or syngas from other fossil fuel resources) if H2 from renewable resources were available at competitive costs. This offers an opportunity to accelerate the introduction of renewable energy into the chemical production chain, and thus to improve resource efficiency in this important manufacturing sector.

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