Sustainable catalytic processes for CO2 conversion to platform chemicals and novel materials
The recent years have seen a rapid rise in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide from 393 ppm in 2010 to 416 ppm in May 2020. Unfortunately, this rising trend is set to continue due to global surge in demand for energy and materials from fossil sources. Some of the developed countries, including Sweden, have tightened their environmental policies and set ambitious targets to alleviate the drastic impacts of climate change. Sweden is committed to a carbon neutral society by 2030 and having net negative CO2 emissions by 2045. To reach these goals, new solutions are needed for the capture of CO2 at the site of emission and its subsequent sequestration.
The C1Bio project funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency is set to develop new catalytic processes that enable conversion of CO2 to platform chemicals amenable to utilization in the production of in bio-based materials. Unique to this project, we combine expertise in electrochemical, biochemical, and organochemical catalysis to achieve CO2 fixation in value-added materials.
“Sustainability is the core concept of the project and we develop technologies that can utilize solar energy to reduce CO2 to C1 chemicals, such as formate, which can be subsequently valorized.”, Adam Slabon from Stockholm University describes.
Per-Olof Syrén, who is the project leader at KTH, is excited about the solutions expected from the project. “Biocatalysis is a key enabler for the production of biomaterials and it is exciting to work at the frontier of alternative green technologies”, Syrén tells.
One of the most promising new material precursors is lignin that is an abundant component of renewable wood biomass. Mika Sipponen and his group are exploring new ways to use lignin in sustainable materials. “Lignin is a complex material and many of its properties need to be improved. In this sense the catalytic processes are attractive options to unlock use of lignin in value-added applications”, Mika Sipponen from Stockholm University adds.
The project started in January 2020 and is a collaboration between KTH, Stockholm University, and RISE Processum.