Global Carbon Wealth (GCW)

Given present trends in anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, finding solutions to stabilize or even decrease the atmospheric concentration of this greenhouse gas becomes urgent matter. One option, «carbon capture and valorization» (CCV) emerged recently. According to the perspective of industrial ecology, CCV considers carbon dioxide as a resource instead of a waste.

There are three main technological options for CO2 capture: extracting carbon dioxide from concentrated sources (power plants, cement kilns, etc.), capturing CO2 directly from the air or indirectly through biomass conversion (fermentation, biomass power plant, etc).

Academic and industrial researchers are making great efforts to optimize current pathways of valorization or to develop new ones. Different topics are concerned (green chemistry, white biotechnology, catalyst, biorefinery, etc). In a nutshell, three main categories of valorization (physical, biological and chemical) lead to a broad variety of products:

For each CCV strategy a number of technical issues need in-depth research: the techniques themselves and more importantly the understanding and evaluation of the whole energy and material systems in which they could play an important role: total energy costs, total material throughput. Moreover, almost no research has been done on the non-technical aspects of CO2 valorization. Neglecting non-technical aspects might lead to inappropriate technological choices, with respect to environmental policies, governance, public acceptance, etc. Therefore, the goal of this project is the elaboration of the first (or one of the very first) transdisciplinary research platform and project on the multiple implications of CCV, systematically integrating technical and non-technical aspects.

Participants: Suren Erkman, Frédéric Meylan, Vincent Moreau