Feds Feed $100M to CO2-Recycling Projects

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. government is funneling more than $100 million to six projects that will turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into fuel, plastics, cement and more.

The projects on the receiving end of the $106 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act had received a previous round of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 as part of an initiative to advance technologies and processes that can capture CO2 for storage or conversion to beneficial products.

The latest funding will help the construction and operation of pilot plants for the projects, which are also being supported with $156 million in private cost sharing.

Novomer is working with Albemarle Corporation and Eastman Kodak to collect CO2 from four sites and turn it into plastics that can be used to make packaging like bottles, films, can coatings and surface applications. Novomer expects the resulting plastics to be up to 50 percent, by weight, CO2.

Calera, Alcoa and Skyonic are all working with systems that turn CO2 into carbonates. Calera's focus is on carbonates that can be turned into construction materials, and will operate a building material production system that turns the carbonate into construction fill or cement ingredients. Skyonic and Alcoa will turn CO2 into soluble bicarbonate and carbonate, which can be turned into fertilizer and soil amendments, in addition to construction materials.

Touchstone Research Laboratory and Phycal are both using algae with captured CO2 to produce biofuels or algal biocrude, which can be blended with other fuels for power generation or turned into jet fuel, biodiesel and other fuels.

Emissions - CC license by Flickr user otodo