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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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GASEOUS CARBON WASTE
STREAMS UTILIZATION

Status and Research Needs

Committee on Developing a Research Agenda for Utilization of Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams

Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

Division of Earth and Life Studies

A Consensus Study Report of

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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This activity was supported by Contract No. DE-DT001236, DE-SC0017935, and DE-EP0000026 with the U.S Department of Energy and Shell. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25232.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
×

COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPING A RESEARCH AGENDA FOR UTILIZATION OF GASEOUS CARBON WASTE STREAMS

Members

DAVID T. ALLEN, NAE, University of Texas, Austin

MARK A. BARTEAU, NAE, Texas A&M University

MICHAEL BURKART, University of California, San Diego

JENNIFER DUNN, Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory

ANNE M. GAFFNEY, Idaho National Laboratory

RAGHUBIR GUPTA, Susteon, Inc.

NILAY HAZARI, Yale University

MATTHEW KANAN, Stanford University

PAUL KENIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

HOWARD KLEE, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (retired)

GAURAV N. SANT, University of California, Los Angeles

CATHY L. TWAY, The Dow Chemical Company

Staff

DAVID M. ALLEN, Senior Program Officer

CAMLY TRAN, Senior Program Officer

ELIZABETH ZEITLER, Senior Program Officer

TERESA FRYBERGER, BCST Director

ANNA SBEREGAEVA, Associate Program Officer

ERIN MARKOVICH, Senior Program Assistant/Research Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY

Co-Chairs

DAVID BEM, PPG Industries

JOAN BRENNECKE, NAE, University of Texas, Austin

Members

GERARD BAILLELY, Procter and Gamble

MARK A. BARTEAU, NAE, Texas A&M University

MICHELLE V. BUCHANAN, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

JENNIFER SINCLAIR CURTIS, University of California, Davis

RICHARD EISENBERG, NAS, University of Rochester

SAMUEL H. GELLMAN, NAS, University of Wisconsin–Madison

SHARON C. GLOTZER, NAS, University of Michigan

MIRIAM E. JOHN, Sandia National Laboratories (retired)

ALAN D. PALKOWITZ, Eli Lilly and Company (retired)

JOSEPH B. POWELL, Shell

PETER J. ROSSKY, NAS, Rice University

RICHMOND SARPONG, University of California, Berkeley

TIMOTHY SWAGER, NAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

TERESA FRYBERGER, Board Director

MARILEE SHELTON-DAVENPORT, Senior Program Officer

CAMLY TRAN, Senior Program Officer

ANNA SBEREGAEVA, Associate Program Officer

JARRETT I. NGUYEN, Senior Program Assistant

JESSICA WOLFMAN, Senior Program Assistant

SHUBHA BANSKOTA, Financial Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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Preface

Global emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, caused by human activities, are now in excess of 35,000 teragrams (Tg) per year, or roughly 5 tons per person per year on a mass basis, dominated by CO2. In countries with advanced economies, like the United States, emissions per capita are larger, in excess of 15 tons per person per year. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to levels that are consistent with limiting the extent of global warming to less than a 2°C increase over pre-industrial temperatures, will require a variety of approaches. Some approaches, such as expanding the use of energy sources that have low greenhouse gas emissions, will prevent emissions. Other approaches involve capturing greenhouse gas emissions; however, capturing and permanently sequestering gigatons of waste gas per year is technically challenging and imposes costs. An alternative to sequestration is to find a productive use for captured greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide and methane. The Committee on Developing a Research Agenda for Utilization of Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams examined the roadblocks to commercialization of technologies that could utilize captured greenhouse gases. These technologies are mostly in their infancy, but, if successful, could create greenhouse gas mitigation technologies that can be operated at little cost or even provide net economic value.

There are reasons to be optimistic. Already there are commercial technologies, operating at relatively small scale, that are or could be using waste gas as their raw materials. Additional fundamental research and process development could enable even more carbon utilization pathways operating at scales that could collectively approach 1 gigaton per year. Expanding carbon utilization to a gigaton scale, however, would require not just fundamental breakthroughs and process development but also the creation of enabling purification, transport, and other infrastructures.

In its report, the Committee on Developing a Research Agenda for Utilization of Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams identifies advances that could enable much more extensive carbon utilization. Addressing this complex and multifaceted task required a committee with a broad set of expertise, ranging from fundamental research to product and process commercialization, and from biotechnology to cement and concrete production. I thank the committee

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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members, who gave generously of their time and effort and who both learned from and informed their fellow committee members. I also thank the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine staff who organized us and our report, improved our writing, and supported the committee’s work in many other ways. Finally, I thank the reviewers, whose thoughtful comments improved the technical content and presentation of the report.

David T. Allen, Chair

Committee on Developing a Research Agenda for Utilization of Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
×

Acknowledgments

The completion of this study would not have been successful without the assistance of many individuals and organizations. The committee would especially like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contribution during this study:

U.S. Department of Energy and Shell, which sponsored the study and provided valuable data to help address the statement of task. The committee would especially like to thank Joe Powell (Shell), Todd Anderson (Office of Biological and Envrionmental Reseacrch), Bruce Garrett (Office of Basic Energy Sciences), Zia Haq and Devinn Lambert (Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), and John Litynski (Office of Fossil Energy), who served as the Department’s liaison to the committee and was effective in responding to the committee’s requests for information.

Speakers and invited participants at the committee’s data-gathering meetings. These individuals are listed here: Madhav Acharya, ARPA-E; Vahit Atakan, Solidia Technologies; Harry Atwater, California Institute of Technology; Kathy Ayers, Proton Onsite; André Bardow, Aachen University; Abhoyjit Bhown, Electric Power Research Institute; Jean Bogner, University of Illinois, Chicago; Walter Breidenstein, GasTechno; Joseph Bushinsky, Air Liquide; Paula Carey, Carbon8; Trapti Chaubey, Air Liquide; Steven Chu, Stanford University; Bernard David, Global Carbon Dioxide Initiative; Heleen DeWever, BioRecover; Amgad Elgowainy, Argonne National Laboratory; Marcius Extavour, Carbon X-Prize; Aaron Goldner, Sen. Whitehouse; Christopher Gurtler, Covestro; John Hansen, Haldor Topsoe A/S; David Hazlebeck, Global Algae Innovations; Rich Helling, The Dow Chemical Company; Howard Herzog, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech; Elizabeth Horner, Sen. Barrasso; Hillary Hull, Environmental Defense Fund; Aqil Jamal, Aramco Performance Materials; Mark Jones, The Dow Chemical Company; Walter Leitner, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy; Stuart Licht, George Washington University; Sean Monkman, CarbonCure; Ah-Hyung “Alissa” Park, Columbia University; Bob Perciasepe, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions; Allison Pieja, Mango Materials; Phil Pienkos, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Brian Sefton, Oakbio; Ómar Sigurbjörnsson,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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Carbon Recycling International; Steven Singer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Tim Skone, National Energy Technology Laboratory; Eric Stangland, The Dow Chemical Company; Ben Woolston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Yuan-Sheng Yu, Lux Research.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

ALEXIS BELL, (NAS/NAE) University of California Berkeley

MARY BIDDY, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

JENNIFER HOLMGREN, (NAE) LanzaTech

CYNTHIA JENKS, Argonne National Laboratory

CLIFF KUBIAK, University of California, San Diego

DAVID MYERS, GCP Applied Technologies

CORINNE SCOWN, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

STEVEN SINGER, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

GREGORY STEPHANOPOULOS, (NAE) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

JENNIFER WILCOX, Colorado School of Mines

HAIBO ZHAI, Carnegie Mellon University

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by JOHN ANDERSON, Illinois Institute of Technology, and ELISABETH DRAKE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They were responsible for making certain that an

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25232.
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In the quest to mitigate the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, researchers and policymakers have increasingly turned their attention to techniques for capturing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, either from the locations where they are emitted or directly from the atmosphere. Once captured, these gases can be stored or put to use. While both carbon storage and carbon utilization have costs, utilization offers the opportunity to recover some of the cost and even generate economic value. While current carbon utilization projects operate at a relatively small scale, some estimates suggest the market for waste carbon-derived products could grow to hundreds of billions of dollars within a few decades, utilizing several thousand teragrams of waste carbon gases per year.

Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs assesses research and development needs relevant to understanding and improving the commercial viability of waste carbon utilization technologies and defines a research agenda to address key challenges. The report is intended to help inform decision making surrounding the development and deployment of waste carbon utilization technologies under a variety of circumstances, whether motivated by a goal to improve processes for making carbon-based products, to generate revenue, or to achieve environmental goals.

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