Companies close to reusing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide

November 6, 2013

Reusing the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial plants—rather than releasing its warming potential into the environment—is on the verge of becoming a commercial reality. Several large chemical companies in Germany and small start-ups in the U.S. are leading the way, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

Alex Scott, C&EN's senior editor for Europe, points out that German firms are at the forefront thanks partly to an infusion of cash from the government encouraging academic-industrial collaborations to develop CO2-based processes. Within the next few years, chemical giants including BASF and Bayer expect to roll out new processes to use waste CO2 to make plastics, additives, fuels and other materials in an energy-efficient and cost-effective way.

The article notes that unlike their established counterparts across the Atlantic, the U.S. pioneers in this burgeoning sector are start-ups. Illinois-based LanzaTech is developing a process to convert CO2 back into useful chemicals such as acetic acid, an important substance used in . Novomer, based in Massachusetts, plans to commercialize its products, including a raw material for plastics, as early as next year.

Explore further: 'Sweet' chemicals from a 'green' raw material

More information:

Related Stories

'Sweet' chemicals from a 'green' raw material

September 19, 2012

The biobased world's traditional focus on producing fuels for cars, trucks and aircraft is quietly undergoing a major transition this summer toward production of chemicals needed for manufacture of hundreds of different consumer ...

Welcome to the new era of University, Inc.

August 7, 2013

After years of wariness, universities and industry scientists are forging new partnerships that are reinvigorating academic science departments, preparing students for careers and giving corporations better access to fundamental ...

Reducing CO2 footprint with bio-plastics

September 23, 2013

Today, the vast majority of plastics are still made using non-renewable fossil fuels, especially petroleum. With concerns about environmental impact and climate change increasing, some researchers have begun to look for alternatives.

Sorbents capturing CO2 will make power plants cleaner

October 18, 2013

When coal is used to generate electricity in power plants, carbon from the coal bonds with oxygen from air to make carbon dioxide (CO2). Due to concerns about how CO2 impacts global climate, scientists at DOE's National Energy ...

Gold nanoparticles give an edge in recycling CO2

October 24, 2013

( —It's a 21st-century alchemist's dream: turning Earth's superabundance of carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas—into fuel or useful industrial chemicals. Researchers from Brown have shown that finely tuned gold ...

Recommended for you

New method facilitates research on fuel cell catalysts

October 8, 2015

While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Therefore, catalyst ...

Better fluorescent lighting through physics

October 8, 2015

General Electric (GE), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have created new kinds of fluorescent lighting phosphors that use far less rare-earth elements than current technology.

Porous material holds promise for prosthetics, robots

October 8, 2015

Cornell researchers have developed a new lightweight and stretchable material with the consistency of memory foam that has potential for use in prosthetic body parts, artificial organs and soft robotics. The foam is unique ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.