Catalyzing a CO2-neutral Society

Conference Dates

May 22-26, 2017


Carbon-based materials and fuels drive human activity and development. The current carbon cycle via natural photosynthesis is too slow to match the speed of modern society, leading to the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere. The capture of CO2 from flue gases and air, and its conversion back to fuels and materials with fast catalytic processes is technically possible and could kinetically balance the carbon cycle. These emerging technologies can be implemented in a 5 to 20 years time-window, as recently articulated in a Viewpoint from the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium. The massive amounts of energy needed to capture and convert CO2 should come from low-carbon energy sources, such as tidal and geothermal but, mainly, from the sun. In this presentation, I will discuss the technological state-of-the-art to catalyze such a CO2-neutral society. Reference Martens, Bogaerts, De Kimpe, Jacobs, Marin, Rabaey, Saeys, and Verhelst, ChemSusChem 10.1002/cssc.201601051, 2017

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