What is CO2Chem?
CO2Chem is an EPSRC Grand Challenge Network. CO2Chem brings together academics, industrialists and policy makers over a wide range of disciplines to consider the utilisation of carbon dioxide as a single carbon chemical feedstock for the production of value added products.
Although it was started as a UK network, CO2Chem quickly grew into an international network, currently our membership is 40% international and growing. CO2Chem is the largest worldwide carbon dioxide utilization network (CDU).
CO2Chem is free to join and provides networking opportunities, runs conferences and meetings, provides regular news and funding updates, publishes reports and creates informational videos, researches public perception of CDU and has a policy and advocacy role.
What is an EPSRC Grand Challenge and Grand Challenge Network?
A Grand Challenge looks to the future. It looks to what could be possible in 20-40 years time if researchers from different groups, institutions and disciplines worked together.
A Grand Challenge Network gathers together people with an interest in the field the GC is researching so that potential collaborators in specific areas can be identified.
Who are the EPSRC?
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are the main UK government agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences, they invest more that £850 million each year. www.epsrc.ac.uk
What does CO2Chem do?
The CO2Chem Network aims to develop a research community that considers new approaches to chemical synthesis, from laboratory to production, using carbon dioxide as the chemical feedstock.
The primary objective is to develop a strategy to tackle CO2 sequestration and re-use over a 20-40 year time frame and to identify funding streams to address its implementation. We aim to ease our reliance as a society on petrochemical based feedstocks for the production of commodity chemicals, taking a more environmentally sound approach to chemicals production.
A combined strategy for the reduction of CO2 emissions and producing sustainable chemical feedstocks is certainly a Grand Challenge. The network addresses ways in which CO2 can be captured (chemical, mechanical and biological) and then transformed into commercially valuable products. We consider all options available including the use of CO2 from existing Carbon Capture & Storage technologies and biomass and the integration of catalysts and sustainable energy resources. We look at individual synthetic procedures, the whole process and also the life cycle analysis.
How does CO2Chem work?
The Network is gathered into eight research sub-themes or clusters around the areas we as a network perceive as the most important. These research clusters are:
- Carbon Capture for utilisation
- Industrial Application
- Electrochemical Approaches
- Chemical Transformations
- Bio Transformations (including artificial photosynthesis)
- Fuels (including methanol, ethane, methane & high density liquid fuels) production from CO2
- Mineralisation processes providing long-term carbon storage solutions
- Public Perception of CDU
Each of these clusters is led by small group of champions from academia and industry who with help from the management group, will ensure that progress is being made towards the research challenge targets for each cluster. The cluster research challenges have been highlighted by the network during the various meetings in the first phase of the network as the key challenges in each area. As these challenges represent a snap-shot in time and we intend to be receptive to new ways of thinking and new technological innovation. Each cluster meets at least once a year in the UK to focus on the specific challenges relevant to that area of CCU and annually we host a one or two day meeting to bring together the whole network to hear about the latest research.
The CO2Chem website is a source of information for our members. We advertise events, latest research developments and funding news. Network members also have access to a restricted area, where presentations from past meetings are available.
CO2Chem also uses Twitter @Co2chem, Facebook and Youtube to share news.