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Work Package 1: Disruptive combined CO2 capture and conversion technologies using renewable energy: proof of concept and green planning


  • Establish a proof of concept for novel technologies using renewable energy (solar, wind…) input for combined capture and catalytic conversion of CO2 into fuels or commodity chemicals.
  • Develop an ecological plan for the large-scale implementation of such innovative technologies, as well as more mature ones in relationship with their environmental impact (Work Package 2, WP2) and the scenarios envisaged in WP3.

Task 1.1: Combined capture and catalytic conversion

Innovative fluid CO2 sorbents will be developed and characterized for further implementation in continuous flow catalytic (photo/electro)-reactors. In particular, aqueous foams incorporating mimics of carbonic anhydrase enzymes should be able to capture CO2 from dilute sources efficiently and transport it to immobilized catalysts for its conversion into fuels (methane, alcohols…) or chemicals (e.g., formic acid to be used in WP3). The aim is to produce a proof-of-concept continuous flow millifluidic catalytic reactor and to characterize it (physicochemical models for CO2 capture, energy conversion efficiency, net carbon balance) as input for WP2.

Task 1.1

Task 1.2. Light-driven processes

We will here focus on driving the catalytic processes from Task 1.1 (or WP2) using sunlight with the ultimate goal of mimicking photosynthesis. Here we will (i) develop photocatalytic systems combining novel molecular dyes or semi-conductor nanocrystals with catalysts from WP2, (ii) immobilize them onto active materials, and (iii) implement them into catalytic photoreactors to be combined with outputs from Task 1.1 to produce a full prototype for light-driven CO2 capture and conversion.

task 1.2

Task 1.3. Socio-technical and economic vision

The contribution of economics in DefiCO2 will be to design an ecological plan that considers both the emergence of technologies and the mechanisms necessary for their promotion. We will study the different obstacles encountered in their development and implementation. In particular, we are interested in the degree of market concentration and the strategies of the companies involved.

Moreover, cross-talks between technology developers, sociologists, and economists will allow for shaping the most suitable policy for implementing these innovative technologies (and the more mature ones from WP3) and to articulate such technological implementation with the scenarios envisaged in WP3. We also propose identifying the socio-technical imaginary of CO2 atmospheric capture, and the anticipations (positives or negatives) associated with these different strategies for combating climate change. We will analyze how uncertainties about their environmental performance and their direct and indirect impacts can be debated in the context of controversies, how the desirability and credibility of these technologies are constructed through sociotechnical discourse.

task 1.3

Submitted on January 11, 2023

Updated on February 23, 2023