Towards carbon neutral chemicals production : Opportunities for combining fermentation with electrochemical processes

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number101177
Journal / PublicationCurrent Opinion in Electrochemistry
Online published11 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


A circular carbon economy offers a pathway towards sustainable industry, decoupling production from pervasive fossil fuel feedstocks. Global supply chains however have tremendous inertia, and so, in the short term, strategies are required to maximise decarbonisation with minimal intervention. Fortunately, there are only a handful of top-platform chemicals which are used to make all others through traditional chemicals manufacturing. Electrochemical processes offer significant opportunities to link renewable electricity with chemical productions. Currently, however, electrochemistry is at nearing commercialisation stages only for a handful of chemical products. More promise for product diversification may be obtained when it is used as an enabling technology to provide feedstocks for other technologies (e.g., biotechnology and thermochemistry). By utilising commercialised electrochemical products (e.g., hydrogen and carbon monoxide), these combinations can reach other platform chemicals at much higher overall energy efficiencies. This approach is being recognised in industry, with several companies at the forefront. © 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • Bio-economy, Biotechnology, Carbon chemicals, Electrochemical CO2 reduction, Energy efficiency, H2 electrolysis, Power-to-X, Process synergy