Carbon Dioxide: Closing the Loop on the Ultimate Raw Material

Organizer: Joseph Sabol, Chemical Consultant, Racine, Wisconsin, USA

More than 35 Gt of carbon dioxide (10 Gt as carbon) from industrial processes is produced each year, with about half accumulating into the oceans and on land and about half retained in the atmosphere. Adverse consequences from lowering the pH of the oceans and trapping infrared radiation are well documented and unabated release of carbon dioxide will continue to accentuate environmental concerns. Various proposals to treat carbon dioxide as waste and inject into deep wells are met with skepticism and daunting engineering challenges. In the spirit of “closing the loop” this symposium addresses use of carbon dioxide as a raw material to return the elements back into process streams. Every waste product should be an input to another process stream, although energy can be required. Burning additional fuels as the energy source to reduce carbon dioxide essentially defeats the purpose and solar direct electron transfer, photovoltaic, thermal heat, or bio-based systems, such as algae, to capture the energy needed to reduce and incorporate carbon dioxide as a raw material.