A Sustainable Chemicals Manufacturing Paradigm Using CO2 and Renewable H2

Rajesh Reddy Bommareddy*, Yanming Wang, Nicole Pearcy, Martin Hayes, Edward Lester, Nigel P. Minton, Alex V. Conradie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The chemical industry must decarbonize to align with UN Sustainable Development Goals. A shift toward circular economies makes CO2 an attractive feedstock for producing chemicals, provided renewable H2 is available through technologies such as supercritical water (scH2O) gasification. Furthermore, high carbon and energy efficiency is paramount to favorable techno-economics, which poses a challenge to chemo-catalysis. This study demonstrates continuous gas fermentation of CO2 and H2 by the cell factory, Cupriavidus necator, to (R,R)-2,3-butanediol and isopropanol as case studies. Although a high carbon efficiency of 0.75 [(C-mol product)/(C-mol CO2)] is exemplified, the poor energy efficiency of biological CO2 fixation requires ∼8 [(mol H2)/(mol CO2)], which is techno-economically infeasible for producing commodity chemicals. Heat integration between exothermic gas fermentation and endothermic scH2O gasification overcomes this energy inefficiency. This study unlocks the promise of sustainable manufacturing using renewable feedstocks by combining the carbon efficiency of bio-catalysis with energy efficiency enforced through process engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101218
Pages (from-to)101218
JournaliScience
Volume23
Issue number6
Early online date2 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

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