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Carbondioxide as building block for organic molecules

Carbondioxide as building block for organic molecules -...

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CARBON-DIOXIDE AS BUILDING BLOCK FOR ORGANIC MOLECULES A Seminar submitted to University Institute of Chemical Technology Mumbai Submitted by Saurabh Das B. Chem. Engg. 2008-2009 AVP 1
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.1.0 INTRODUCTION: CARBON DIOXIDE ( CO 2 ) is nontoxic, nonflammable, and available abundantly. Those attributes make it sound like CO 2 could be a great feedstock for making commodity chemicals, fuels, and materials—and it already is playing that role for a few applications. But there is a major difficulty. CO 2 is very stable, which means it takes extra effort to activate the molecule so that it will undergo reaction. Here in this seminar, we will try to combat this difficulty by looking at various possible methods available to use CO 2 for achieving our goal of manufacturing various chemicals by using CO 2 as the starting material. 1.2.1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Carbon dioxide can be converted into chemicals, fuels and polymers and there are technologies available today to achieve this. In context, the entire output of the chemicals industry (excluding fuels) is equivalent on a carbon basis to around 1-2% of the total annual anthropogenic carbon emissions (6Gt). Therefore, chemicals based on CO 2 could contribute to reducing carbon emissions but not at a significant level; the synthesis of fuels (for example via Fischer-Tropsch chemistry) could substantially increase carbon emission reduction. CO 2 as a building block for polymers can be viewed as a mechanism to sequester carbon in the long- 2
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term. There are a number of potential technologies that require further research and development; for example the photochemical conversion of CO 2 . In the medium-term it is expected that fossil fuel power plants fitted with carbon capture and storage technologies will provide a source of relatively pure CO 2 . In order to take advantage of this it is suggested that CO 2 -to-chemicals technologies should be applicable at relatively low CO 2 pressures to avoid energy intensive pressurization steps. It is important that CO 2 conversion technologies are developed alongside work on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies so that they can be considered in the design of pilot and full scale CCS plants. The full life cycle analysis of technologies for converting CO 2 into chemicals must be considered. This will enable an unbiased assessment of the technology options as well as an opportunity to compare against other carbon abatement technologies. It is also critical that an economic argument can be made to support technologies to convert CO 2 to chemicals. Government and funding bodies should consider establishing a research centre with a focus on CO 2 chemistry. In addition, to reduce the time for technological breakthroughs funding mechanisms that allow researchers from other nations to collaborate with Indian research groups should be introduced. There is a need to attract, train, enthuse and retain high caliber talented young people in disciplines relevant to this field.
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