Improving carbon circularity to help achieve climate neutrality – Cefic shares its vision on CO2 valorisation
As a society, we are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of human behaviour on our planet and health. For instance, CO2 is the greenhouse gas responsible for 64% of man-made global warming. Recycling carbon from CO2 – also known as chemical valorisation of CO2 – has the potential of turning the European industry into a leader in innovative technologies towards a climate neutral and circular economy.
Carbon is an essential element of most chemical products and of a large variety of products from food to materials. Using CO2 as feedstock can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and avoid that additional carbon needs to be dug or pumped out of the ground.
Chemical valorisation of CO2 can be applied in the production of chemicals, polymers, materials, alternative fuels, and can provide solutions for energy storage. Various technologies have already been developed and a few demonstration plants built in Europe.
The development and deployment of CO2 valorisation technologies entail huge investments with high risk. New innovative technologies, with a reduced environmental footprint (including carbon footprint) have to compete globally against incumbent processes which have achieved a high degree of efficiency. Therefore, there is a need for risk-sharing measures to facilitate investment in Europe, support to research and innovation at EU and national level, and a European policy framework that supports the use of CO2 as carbon feedstock.