Carbon capture and utilization

The increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere due to the intensive exploitation of fossil carbon reservoirs (e.g. coal and oil) is one of the grand challenges of our time. This challenge is severely affecting the natural carbon cycle which is central to all life on the planet. It is essential to secure that the carbon cycle remains in balance, and we therefore need to develop new tools that can support the transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral society.

Cell hardware for electrochemically driven carbon capture
In the short term, CO2 capture (and sequestration) from point sources is urgently needed to reach the deep CO2 emission reduction targets that have been defined to mitigate the most severe consequences of climate change. On a longer horizon, there is also a need for a sustainable carbon feedstock for the production of carbon-neutral fuels (e.g. methane and methanol), materials (e.g. plastics and coatings), pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and essentially anything derived from carbon. Some of the carbon can indeed be obtained from biomass, but capture of CO2 from the air or oceans will be needed to meet the demand.

The research and development in CO2 capture and utilization at DTU Energy builds on competences in several subbranches of chemistry and physics and is supported by new tools in modelling and autonomous materials discovery. The research spans from the synthesis and characterization of liquid or solid-state sorbents for CO2 capture to the exploration of new CO2 capture and conversion processes driven by electrochemical reactions. The activities extend to system design consideration and analysis of energy efficiency.