Lately, the technical research on carbon dioxide capture and utilization (CCU) has achieved important breakthroughs. While single CO2-based innovations are entering the markets, the possible economic effects of a large-scale CO2 utilization still remain unclear to policy makers and the public. Hence, this paper reviews the literature on CCU and provides insights on the motivations and potential of making use of recovered CO2 emissions as a commodity in the industrial production of materials and fuels. By analyzing data on current global CO2 supply from industrial sources, best practice benchmark capture costs and the demand potential of CO2 utilization and storage scenarios with comparative statics, conclusions can be drawn on the role of different CO2 sources. For near-term scenarios the demand for the commodity CO2 can be covered from industrial processes, that emit CO2 at a high purity and low benchmark capture cost of approximately 33 €/t. In the long-term, with synthetic fuel production and large-scale CO2 utilization, CO2 is likely to be available from a variety of processes at benchmark costs of approx. 65 €/t. Even if fossil-fired power generation is phased out, the CO2 emissions of current industrial processes would suffice for ambitious CCU demand scenarios. At current economic conditions, the business case for CO2 utilization is technology specific and depends on whether efficiency gains or substitution of volatile priced raw materials can be achieved. Overall, it is argued that CCU should be advanced complementary to mitigation technologies and can unfold its potential in creating local circular economy solutions.
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- Academic Articles
Naims, H. (2016). Economics of carbon dioxide capture and utilization—a supply and demand perspective. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(22), 22226-22241. doi:10.1007/s11356-016-6810-2.
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