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Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs (2019)

Chapter: 10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies

« Previous: 9 Assessing Commercial Viability of Carbon Utilization Technologies
Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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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10

Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies

Establishing criteria for evaluating the potential for commercialization of carbon utilization technologies facilitates both the identification of areas where research and development might be most impactful and comparison of different carbon utilization technologies. Decisions about whether to commercialize a product are complex. It is necessary to establish proof of value, that is, to determine if the technology either addresses a limitation of the current market (such as by lowering the cost or increasing the lifespan of a product) or fills a new need in the market. Issues associated with capital expenditure, regulations, and availability of feedstocks are all crucial and may vary depending on the location in which a new technology is being implemented. Commercialization considerations are also time dependent; a technology that is not commercially viable today may become so in the future because of market, policy, or societal changes. Similarly, regional factors may dictate commercial viability such that technologies that are commercially viable in one region may not be feasible elsewhere. Because carbon utilization involves goals related to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, environmental considerations are also important for evaluating these technologies.

Factors relevant to assessing and commercializing carbon utilization technologies are discussed in Chapters 8 and 9. Key factors include the technology’s potential economic value; its scale, market capacity, and market penetration; the ability to manage relevant external factors such as infrastructure and regulations; the potential unintended outcomes and consequences associated with the technology; the availability and suitability of the carbon waste stream to be used; the potential environmental and societal risks associated with using a carbon waste stream to generate products; and the associated life-cycle greenhouse gas impact. This chapter expands upon those 7 factors to develop 14 criteria for assessing the commercial viability of carbon utilization technologies.

Many of the criteria that are useful for assessing the commercial viability of carbon utilization technologies are similar to those that are useful for assessing any emerging technology. For example, whether a technology is economically competitive with an existing process

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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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to deliver an identical or functionally equivalent product is crucial regardless of whether the technology involves a carbon waste stream. Other criteria, such as the permanence of carbon capture in the end product, are unique to carbon utilization technologies.

In practice, different evaluators may weight these factors differently. For example, an evaluator whose main objective is to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations would likely emphasize life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions over other factors. In contrast, if the primary objective is the rapid development of an economically feasible process to produce fuels or products, criteria related to economic value, market factors, and external factors would receive greater emphasis.

Technology developers and research funding decision makers already use criteria similar to those outlined in this chapter to inform their decisions. For example, the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE (see Box 10-1), Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative have developed their own sets of criteria to incentivize and evaluate the advancement of carbon utilization technologies. Companies developing carbon waste–derived products apply similar criteria to guide product development and investment decisions (see

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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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Box 10-2). The factors and criteria outlined in this chapter guided the committee’s assessment of technologies and research needs presented in the rest of this report and can be a useful framework for other evaluators in the future.

FACTORS FOR EVALUATION OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES INCLUDING CARBON UTILIZATION

Many factors commonly used to evaluate other types of emerging technologies are relevant to carbon utilization technologies as well. The following sections describe criteria that can be used to evaluate these factors in the context of carbon utilization.

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

Economic Value

To be commercially viable, any product produced from a carbon waste stream eventually needs to be economically feasible; that is, it must be possible to generate a return on investment. Some factors that impact whether a product will be economically feasible include the cost of the raw material required for the process, the cost of building and operating the equipment and infrastructure required for the process, and the value of the product. If a new technology represents a direct replacement for an existing process or product, it likely needs to be economically competitive with existing technology to be commercially viable. For example, if a product made using an existing technology can be sold at a lower price than an equivalent product made from carbon waste, it is unlikely that the product produced from carbon waste will be commercially viable unless there is a differentiation for the product that can be promoted to justify its higher price. Alternatively, if a technology is in a new market, there needs to be a demand for the product for it to be commercially viable. In some cases, it may be possible for policy and regulations to influence a product’s commercial viability, for example a carbon tax. Recommending policy changes is outside the scope of this report; however, lessons may be learned from the experience of the European Union in cap and trade of carbon emissions. Since 2005, the European Union has operated an emissions cap and trade system; however, carbon waste gas utilization does not qualify for credits. Beginning in 2021, a portion of the system revenues will fund an innovation fund which will include research and development investments in CCU.1 The funded projects will be a source of learning for the research and policy communities in Europe and elsewhere, including the United States. Overall, in determining economic feasibility it is important to consider both the inherent economic value of a new technology and its ability to compete with current products.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Is the selling price of the carbon-derived product significantly lower than that of its direct competitors in the market?
  • Would a company earn a sufficient internal rate of return from producing the carbon-derived product?

Scale, Market Capacity, and Market Penetration

Criteria relevant to scale, market capacity, and market penetration are useful for evaluating the potential volume and market share of a new product, as well as its ability to compete with existing products in the same market niche.

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1 See https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets/revision_en.

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

Scale and Market Capacity

The scale at which a new technology can be implemented is an important criterion for determining the commercial viability, degree of commercial success, and carbon emissions mitigation potential of a product. Some technologies require scientific challenges to be solved for production to occur at volumes needed to meet market demand, for example, limitations associated with mass transfer and reactor design. These technological barriers are discussed in Chapters 3-6, and only the market demand itself is considered in this chapter.

In considering the scale of market demand for a product, it is important to not just consider the current volume of a product that is produced but the overall potential market capacity. For example, the market capacity for a new product could be significantly larger than the current scale at which the product is produced if it can provide an alternative to a different product that is made at significant scale. A specific example of this principle is oxalic acid (see Box 10-3). While oxalic acid is currently produced at a small scale in part because it is difficult to synthesize, it could potentially displace other chemicals as a feedstock if it could be made more efficiently. This means that the market capacity for oxalic acid is potentially much greater than the current scale at which it is synthesized.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • In what volumes is the product currently made through conventional means?
  • What is the potential market capacity of the analogous carbon utilization–derived product?
Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

Market Penetration

When a new technology is competing with an existing technology, the potential market penetration of the new product is a crucial criterion in assessing its commercially viability. The key issue is the new product’s ability to capture market share that currently belongs to an incumbent product made using conventional technology. Cost and availability of raw materials and the ability to effectively transport feedstocks and end products have influenced not only the siting but also the economic viability of commodity process facilities for decades. Some processes may face technical challenges to scale-up that could increase costs for implementation at meaningful production volumes and could impact the technology’s ability to gain market share. Such technical challenges are discussed in Chapters 3-6, and the economic considerations for commercialization are discussed in this chapter. In some cases, the ability to capture market share may be influenced by economic or regulatory factors that pertain to a certain region. For example, regional differences in the price of hydrogen or electricity may allow a product made from carbon waste to have significant market penetration in one area but not in others. This is exemplified by the production of methanol from gaseous carbon waste streams in Iceland, where electricity and hydrogen are available at much lower prices than elsewhere due to the country’s hydroelectric and geothermal resources (see Box 10-4). Additional advantages for carbon utilization in this location include the high purity of the flue gas stream and policy directives from the European Commission that counteract the com-

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

petitive edge fossil fuels would otherwise have over methanol in transport fuel applications. While the Icelandic situation is unique in many aspects, the country’s success demonstrates how certain economic, policy, or social environments could increase the likelihood that a new product will displace existing ones.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Would the carbon waste–derived product be expected to achieve substantial market penetration within years, or would it take decades?

Control of External Factors

For many technologies, control of external factors associated with the technology (often referred to as the value chain) is crucial for commercial viability. For example, if a company wants to develop a carbon utilization technology but does not control the pipeline bringing the waste carbon feedstock to the production site, risks to the process may increase and the technology may be less economically feasible. It is beyond the scope of this report to identify all of the factors associated with control of the value chain for every carbon utilization technology. In general, it is likely that regulatory factors will influence the commercial viability of many of these technologies. For example, if carbon dioxide is mineralized to produce cement, the chemical composition of the cement changes, and building codes will need to be updated before the carbon dioxide–derived cement can be utilized (see Box 10-5). Similarly,

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

the impurities present in commodity chemicals are often tightly regulated, so if carbon waste–based processes for making those chemicals introduce impurities into the chemical products, changes to regulation may be required in order for the chemicals to be sold. Finally, biological carbon utilization technologies may encounter regulatory issues related to the use of genetically modified organisms in open water streams. These examples highlight the fact that, even if a new technology is scientifically sound, other factors could undermine its commercial viability.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Does the producer of the technology have nearly full control of the value chain, or only a small portion of it?

Unintended Outcomes

It is also vital to consider potential unintended outcomes and consequences of deploying a new technology. Although these are inherently often difficult to foresee, it is sometimes possible to avoid negative impacts by anticipating counterintuitive outcomes or understanding how a new technology might affect apparently unrelated areas. An example of this principle from environmental economics is known as the Jevons paradox, which stipulates that increases in efficiency often lead to increases in consumption, so the expected benefits of the more efficient process are not realized. In the chemical industry, changes in the type of feedstock can have unintended consequences. For example, by changing the cost of chemical industry feedstocks the shale gas boom has affected the economic viability of multiple technologies, as illustrated in Box 10-6 (DeRosa and Allen, 2016). Similar consequences could occur if waste carbon dioxide were to become widely used as a feedstock for fuels and products. Furthermore, if technologies that use carbon dioxide have a significant impact on land use or water consumption, their widespread adoption could result in increased carbon dioxide emissions from land carbon stocks or could cause water scarcity issues.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Could the technology cause large market disruptions that could alter land and water use patterns, chemical industry structure, or fuel usage patterns?

CRITERIA SPECIFIC TO CARBON WASTE UTILIZATION

In addition to factors that are commonly considered when assessing any emerging technology, the viability of carbon utilization technologies also depends on factors that are unique to the use of carbon waste as a feedstock or unique to technologies that are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

Availability and Suitability of Waste Stream

The economic viability of carbon utilization technologies depends on the volume and quality of carbon waste available (see Box 10-7). This determines the suitability of available inputs as well as the scale of production that can be achieved. Tolerance to change in the quality of inputs can also influence viability; for example, a CO2 process that is immune to changes in the waste stream composition (e.g., if the type of coal used in a power plant is changed) is more robust and has a higher likelihood of viability. The availability and quality of carbon dioxide waste streams is discussed in Chapter 2.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Is a sufficient quantity of carbon waste available at the required quality to produce the product at a cost that enables competitive market pricing?
  • Would changes in the carbon waste stream cause substantial changes in yield or purity of the product?
Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

Risks Associated with Use of Waste as a Feedstock

Depending on their source, gaseous carbon waste streams can contain contaminants including toxic materials. While separation processes can be designed to remove these materials, there is a risk for process failure that could lead to incorporation of contaminants into the final product. This risk can lead to commercialization barriers ranging from negative consumer perceptions to regulatory restrictions. Such risks may be less impactful for some products, such as fuels (assuming the product still meets fuel quality specifications and the toxic materials are destroyed in the combustion process), but more impactful for products like pharmaceuticals or consumer products, which can be subject to strict safety standards and more vulnerable to consumer perception.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Is the product subject to regulatory constraints relevant to the use of a waste feedstock in its production?
  • Would contamination in the product pose a threat to human health?

Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Impact

Carbon utilization technologies are often viewed through the lens of mitigating carbon emissions. While carbon utilization is indeed an important strategy to make use of a widely available waste stream toward a circular carbon economy, not every utilization technology will offer significant levels of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions or act as a net carbon sink (see Box 8-1, Chapter 8). Nonetheless, fuels and products from carbon utilization may be lower emitting on a life-cycle basis compared to conventional fuels and products through, for example, increased processing efficiency, replacement of energy-intensive feedstocks or reactants with carbon waste–enabled process chemistry, or the exploitation of renewable

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

electricity or hydrogen. Some carbon utilization processes may consume less energy or water or produce fewer air pollutants than conventional processes for making the same products. In addition, the extent to which waste carbon is incorporated into a product and the permanence of that uptake can play an important role in the utilization technology’s overall greenhouse gas impact.

Life-cycle assessment (LCA), as described in Chapter 8, is useful for assessing energy and environmental impacts as part of the process of evaluating carbon utilization technologies. Different approaches may be appropriate at various stages of technology development; for example, attributional LCA (essentially a step-by-step accounting of the energy and environmental burdens associated with each step of the supply chain) is an appropriate framework in earlier stages, whereas a consequential LCA (which takes into account how a disruptive technology may shift material and energy flows in a part of or all of the economy) may be useful later in the development process to anticipate and address potential unintended outcomes. In either case, it is important to use common and transparent assumptions in the analysis and common emissions factors to describe the emissions associated with various inputs and processes in order to accurately compare carbon utilization technologies with conventional processes.

Evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Are the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and air pollutant emissions of the carbon utilization–derived product advantageous compared to the same or functionally equivalent product produced conventionally? If some of these aspects are not favorable, what is the potential or cost to mitigate those aspects (e.g., through pollution control, water reuse, or other technology)?
  • What is the total potential for carbon uptake into the product, given the product’s market potential and the amount of waste carbon incorporated per unit mass produced?
  • Will carbon be stored in the product for the short term (less than 1 year), medium term (up to a decade), or long term (decades)?

CONCLUSIONS

This chapter outlines 7 factors and 14 criteria (summarized in Table 10-1) that are useful to consider when assessing carbon utilization technologies to inform decision making for research funding, product development, or other purposes. While it will not be possible to evaluate every criterion when a technology is at the bench scale, evaluating emerging technologies where possible early in their development will give the first indications of potential commercial viability. As the technology progresses to the pilot and demonstration scales, additional criteria can be addressed to evaluate its potential to move into the commercial

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

TABLE 10-1 Factors to consider when assessing carbon utilization technologies and criteria for evaluating those factors.

Factors Criteria
Economic value
  • Is the production cost of the carbon utilization–derived product competitive with the production cost of its immediate competitors in the market?
  • Would a company earn a sufficient internal rate of return from producing the carbon waste–derived product?
Scale, market capacity, and market penetration
  • In what volumes is the product currently made through conventional means?
  • What is the potential market capacity of the analogous carbon-derived product?
  • Would the carbon waste–derived product be expected to achieve substantial market penetration within years, or would it take decades?
Control of external factors associated with the technology
  • Does the producer of the technology have nearly full control of the value chain, or only a small portion of it?
Unintended outcomes and consequences
  • Could the technology cause large market disruptions that affect areas such as land and water use patterns, chemical industry structures, or fuel usage patterns?
Availability and suitability of waste stream
  • Is a sufficient quantity of carbon waste available at the required quality to produce the product at a cost that enables competitive market pricing?
  • Would changes in the carbon waste stream cause substantial changes in yield or purity of the product?
Risks associated with the use of waste as a feedstock
  • Is the product subject to regulatory constraints relevant to the use of a waste feedstock in its production?
  • Would contamination in the product pose a threat to human health?
Life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions
  • Are the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and air pollutant emissions of the carbon utilization–derived product advantageous compared to the same or functionally equivalent product produced conventionally?
  • What is the total potential for carbon uptake into the product, given the product’s market potential and the amount of waste carbon incorporated per unit mass produced?
  • Will carbon be stored in the product for the short term (less than 1 year), medium term (up to a decade), or long term (decades)?
Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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.
×

arena. In some cases, it is sufficient to evaluate the criteria at only one stage of development. For example, if the market for a given product is small when technology is at the bench scale, it is likely to remain so and this criterion would not need to be revisited. For other criteria, multiple evaluations may be needed as the technology matures. For example, the results of life-cycle assessments may evolve as more insights are gained into factors such as yield, selectivity, and energy consumption.

REFERENCE

DeRosa, S. E., and D. T. Allen. 2016. Impact of new manufacturing technologies on the petrochemical industry in the United States: A methane-to-aromatics case study. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 55:5366-5372. doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.6b00608.

Suggested Citation:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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:"10 Criteria for Evaluating Carbon Utilization Technologies." 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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