A consortium is working on the conversion of the greenhouse gas into a chemical base material.
Excessive levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have drastic effects on the climate, therefore the world’s major economies have set themselves the goal of reducing emissions of this and other greenhouse gases. One important component is the transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energies.
A consortium coordinated by the chemicals group Evonik is developing a different approach to reducing CO2 emissions and even using the gas. The PlasCo2 project brings together project partners such as Rafflenbeul Anlagen Bau GmbH and several Leibniz research institutes. Together, they are working on a process to produce synthesis gas from carbon dioxide and hydrogen using a plasma reactor. This synthesis gas is carbon monoxide (CO), which in turn can be used to produce plasticizers or petrochemical products. According to those involved, the low temperatures used require little energy and can activate the inert carbon particularly efficiently.
A pilot plant could probably be built in about four years and then run on sustainable energy sources, Evonik says.
Another approach to converting greenhouse gases is being developed at Cambridge University. There, plastic is being converted into usable raw material at the same time.
Photo: © Evonik Industries AG