What Should We Make with CO2 and How Can We Make It?

The Pheneovate team focuses on innovation and commercialization of graphene. Our founders and many partners have an intense interest in recycled CO2 products, especially those made through 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Coupled with raw graphene product, there are many possibilities for unique products made through various means from recycled CO2.

(CellPress/Joule) Oleksandr S. Bushuyev, Phil De Luna, Cao Thang Dinh, Ling Tao, Genevieve Saur, Jao van de Lagemaat, Shana O. Kelley, Edward H. Sargent

In a world struggling to limit global temperature increases to below 2°C, we see a host of emerging technologies aiming to recycle CO2. They range from those nearing commercialization, such as electrocatalytic reduction, to technologies being explored in the lab environment, such as photocatalytic, CO2 polymerization, and biohybrids, to those only now being imagined, such as molecular machine technologies. With a multitude of available pathways for CO2 recycling, we ask ourselves a question—what should we make with CO2 that is both economically viable and helpful for the environment and how should we make it?

In this forward-looking Perspective, we discuss the current state of technology and the economics of electrocatalytic transformation of CO2 into various chemical fuels. Our analysis finds that short-chain simple building-block molecules currently present the most economically compelling targets. Making an optimistic prediction of technology advancement in the future, we propose the gradual rise of photocatalytic, CO2 polymerization, biohybrid, and molecular machine technologies to augment and enhance already practical electrocatalytic CO2 conversion methods.

Premier Event: NREL Industry Growth Forum Denver, CO May 3-4

Spotlight: Carbon Upcycling UCLA - NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Semifinalist