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BIOMIMETIC FIXATION OF CO2 AS SOURCE OF SALTS AND GLUCOSE

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CO2LIFE (BIOMIMETIC FIXATION OF CO2 AS SOURCE OF SALTS AND GLUCOSE)

Reporting period: 2019-07-01 to 2020-12-31

The continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 due to anthropogenic emissions is leading to significant changes in climate, with the industry accounting for one-third of all the energy used globally and for almost 40% of worldwide CO2 emissions. Fast actions are required to decrease the concentration of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, value that has currently reaching 400 ppm. Among the technological possibilities that are on the table to reduce CO2 emissions, carbon capture and storage into geological deposits is one of the main strategies that is being applied. However, the final objective of this strategy is to remove CO2 without considering the enormous potential of this molecule as a source of carbon for the production of valuable compounds. Nature has developed an effective and equilibrated mechanism to concentrate CO2 and fixate the inorganic carbon into organic material (e.g. glucose) by means of enzymatic action. Mimicking Nature and take advantage of millions of years of evolution should be considered as a basic starting point in the development of smart and highly effective processes. The project CO2LIFE presents the overall objective of developing a smart chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into valuable molecules using last generation technology.
The objective of the CO2LIFE project is to develop a process to capture CO2 and convert it into valuable products by trying to mimic the Nature. The core of the process is based on two essential steps: i) CO2 conversion, in which the CO2 is converted into a valuable product; ii) product recovery, in which the converted CO2 coming from the previous stage is recovered as a pure compound. The conversion and recovery processes have been optimized. The main results obtained up to now are confidential, being object of a patent application. Dissemination has been focused mainly on international conferences and two publications in peer-review international journals.
The CO2LIFE project proposes a process that is beyond the current state of the art in the field of CO2 capture. At this stage of the project, the two main stages (conversion and recovery) have been optimized separately with very promising results. Further research will combine the conversion and recovery stages to work with a kind of prototype that can be considered as the proof-of-concept of the process in a laboratory scale under conditions quiet close to the real industrial conditions. The industry has already shown its interest in the performed research, which is being evaluated for a patent application (estimated submission December 2020). A life cycle assessment of the overall process (cradle to gate and cradle to grave) is essential to really determine the avoided CO2 emissions.