Economic and efficient CO2 recycling

According to the recent EU set-plan, the new energy policies indicate as long-term goals the production of 65% of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) by 2050 and the reduction of emissions of CO2 linked to energy production by 50%. Accordingly, a strong increase in the penetration of renewable energy sources is expected over the next few years. Whilst this reduces the carbon footprint of the electricity grid, the intermittent characteristics of RES are already causing energy management constraints, particularly in countries with high penetration of renewables such as Germany and some parts of the US. Such aspects can be conveniently addressed by using the surplus of electrical energy to convert the CO2 present in the emissions of industrial processes into fuels, particularly liquids. Beside power plants, CO2 is a product of various industrial production and manufacturing processes such as cement and steel production. Thus, to reduce the global warming, it is necessary to develop economic and efficient CO2 recycling strategies that will allow the use of carbon dioxide as a resource instead of treating it as a waste product. A technology aiming at producing organic fuels or feedstock chemicals from CO2, in a sustainable way using renewable energy, is a response to the societal challenge of assuring clean, secure and efficient energy supply.