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Publication Detail
The life-cycle environmental performance of producing formate via electrochemical reduction of CO_{2} in ionic liquid
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Paulillo A, Pucciarelli M, Grimaldi F, Lettieri P
  • Publisher:
    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Green Chemistry
  • Status:
  • Language:
  • Notes:
    © Royal Society of Chemistry 2021. This article is Open Access (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Carbon capture and utilisation provide a means to mitigate climate change caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by delaying carbon emissions via temporary storage in goods. This article presents a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study of a novel process that generates formate via electrochemical reduction of CO_{2} in ionic liquid. We performed a scenario analysis, covering uncertain parameters like the recycling rate of unreacted reagents and the market price of CO_{2}, and compared the environmental performance of the carbon utilisation system with that of the conventional process, which relies on fossil sources. Inventory data is obtained from a mix of literature sources and commercial LCA databases. Our analysis indicates that (i) the system needs to attain a 99.9% recycling rate to be competitive with the conventional process; (ii) a future negative market price of CO_{2} would substantially reduce the environmental impacts associated with formate; (iii) there are significant environmental trade-offs between the carbon utilisation system and the conventional process, with the former outperforming the latter in 6/8 out of the 14 impact categories investigated. It should be noted that our results are conservative because inventory data for the electrochemical reduction process is obtained from laboratory experiments.
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