Symposium Organizers: Prof. Philip Jessop, Department of Chemistry, Queen’s University; Prof. Bala Subramaniam, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Kansas
Recycled CO2 is sustainable, renewable, essentially non-toxic, nonflammable, inexpensive, abundant, and doesn’t cause cancer, smog, ozone depletion, endocrine disruption, eutrophication, or resource depletion. It’s a dream chemical, despite the fact that it is widely reviled for its role in global warming. Fortunately, the use of CO2doesn’t contribute to global warming because the CO2 that is used (and possibly released, depending on the application) is usually already-existing CO2, recycled from the wastes of power plants or beer manufacture. Thus green chemists and engineers delight in finding applications for CO2.
This symposium will be an exploration and a celebration of current research on applications of CO2, including CO2 as solvent, acid, stimulus for switchable materials, plant/algae grown enhancer, carbon source for fuels, and synthetic feedstock.
While CO2 utilization may appear to be a potential strategy for combating global warming, this is in most cases a mirage. The real environmental advantages of CO2 utilization are those describe above: its extraordinarily benign nature compared to those materials or reagents it can replace. Similarly, processes involving CO2 can be more benign overall than processes that they replace. Thus speakers in this symposium are encouraged to focus on the environmental, health, and other practical advantages of CO2 or CO2-based processes as substitutes for more harmful materials or processes. Speakers are also encouraged to make the comparison clear, including specific mention of the material or process being replaced, the advantages AND disadvantages of their use of CO2, and potential strategies for overcoming the disadvantages. In this context, advantages supported by life cycle analysis are particularly encouraged.