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Title: What would it take for renewably powered electrosynthesis to displace petrochemical processes?

Abstract

Electrocatalytic transformation of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and water into chemical feedstocks offers the potential to reduce carbon emissions by shifting the chemical industry away from fossil fuel dependence. We provide a technoeconomic and carbon emission analysis of possible products, offering targets that would need to be met for economically compelling industrial implementation to be achieved. We also provide a comparison of the projected costs and CO 2 emissions across electrocatalytic, biocatalytic, and fossil fuel–derived production of chemical feedstocks. We find that for electrosynthesis to become competitive with fossil fuel–derived feedstocks, electrical-to-chemical conversion efficiencies need to reach at least 60%, and renewable electricity prices need to fall below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour. We discuss the possibility of combining electro- and biocatalytic processes, using sequential upgrading of CO 2 as a representative case. We describe the technical challenges and economic barriers to marketable electrosynthesized chemicals. Science , this issue p. eaav3506

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada
OSTI Identifier:
1547480
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1532511
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0004993; AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Science Journal Volume: 364 Journal Issue: 6438; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher:
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

De Luna, Phil, Hahn, Christopher, Higgins, Drew, Jaffer, Shaffiq A., Jaramillo, Thomas F., and Sargent, Edward H. What would it take for renewably powered electrosynthesis to displace petrochemical processes?. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1126/science.aav3506.
De Luna, Phil, Hahn, Christopher, Higgins, Drew, Jaffer, Shaffiq A., Jaramillo, Thomas F., & Sargent, Edward H. What would it take for renewably powered electrosynthesis to displace petrochemical processes?. United States. doi:10.1126/science.aav3506.
De Luna, Phil, Hahn, Christopher, Higgins, Drew, Jaffer, Shaffiq A., Jaramillo, Thomas F., and Sargent, Edward H. Thu . "What would it take for renewably powered electrosynthesis to displace petrochemical processes?". United States. doi:10.1126/science.aav3506.
@article{osti_1547480,
title = {What would it take for renewably powered electrosynthesis to displace petrochemical processes?},
author = {De Luna, Phil and Hahn, Christopher and Higgins, Drew and Jaffer, Shaffiq A. and Jaramillo, Thomas F. and Sargent, Edward H.},
abstractNote = {Electrocatalytic transformation of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and water into chemical feedstocks offers the potential to reduce carbon emissions by shifting the chemical industry away from fossil fuel dependence. We provide a technoeconomic and carbon emission analysis of possible products, offering targets that would need to be met for economically compelling industrial implementation to be achieved. We also provide a comparison of the projected costs and CO 2 emissions across electrocatalytic, biocatalytic, and fossil fuel–derived production of chemical feedstocks. We find that for electrosynthesis to become competitive with fossil fuel–derived feedstocks, electrical-to-chemical conversion efficiencies need to reach at least 60%, and renewable electricity prices need to fall below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour. We discuss the possibility of combining electro- and biocatalytic processes, using sequential upgrading of CO 2 as a representative case. We describe the technical challenges and economic barriers to marketable electrosynthesized chemicals. Science , this issue p. eaav3506},
doi = {10.1126/science.aav3506},
journal = {Science},
number = 6438,
volume = 364,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav3506

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Cited by: 110 works
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    Transforming the carbon economy: challenges and opportunities in the convergence of low-cost electricity and reductive CO 2 utilization
    journal, January 2020

    • Grim, R. Gary; Huang, Zhe; Guarnieri, Michael T.
    • Energy & Environmental Science, Vol. 13, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1039/c9ee02410g

    Highly efficient electrochemical conversion of CO 2 and NaCl to CO and NaClO
    journal, January 2019

    • Quan, Fengjiao; Zhan, Guangming; Shang, Huan
    • Green Chemistry, Vol. 21, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1039/c9gc01099h

    The sensitivity of Cu for electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction to hydrocarbons as revealed by high throughput experiments
    journal, January 2019

    • Lai, Yungchieh; Jones, Ryan J. R.; Wang, Yu
    • Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 7, Issue 47
    • DOI: 10.1039/c9ta10111j

    Current progress in electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction to fuels on heterogeneous catalysts
    journal, January 2020

    • Liu, Anmin; Gao, Mengfan; Ren, Xuefeng
    • Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 8, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1039/c9ta11966c

    CO scission and reductive coupling of organic carbonyls by a redox-active diboraanthracene
    journal, January 2020

    • Taylor, Jordan W.; Harman, W. Hill
    • Chemical Communications, Vol. 56, Issue 32
    • DOI: 10.1039/d0cc01142h

    Two-dimensional metal-organic frameworks for energy-related electrocatalytic applications
    journal, February 2020