Energy comparison of sequential and integrated CO2 capture and electrochemical conversion

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Integrating carbon dioxide (CO2) electrolysis with CO2 capture provides exciting new opportunities for energy reductions by simultaneously removing the energy-demanding regeneration step in CO2 capture and avoiding critical issues faced by CO2 gas-fed electrolysers. However, understanding the potential energy advantages of an integrated process is not straightforward due to the interconnected processes which require knowledge of both capture and electrochemical conversion processes. Here, we identify the upper limits of the integrated process from an energy perspective by comparing the working principles and performance of integrated and sequential approaches. Our high-level energy analyses unveil that an integrated electrolyser must show similar performance to the gas-fed electrolyser to ensure an energy benefit of up to 44% versus the sequential route. However, such energy benefits diminish if future gas-fed electrolysers resolve the CO2 utilisation issue and if an integrated electrolyser shows lower conversion efficiencies than the gas-fed system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5398
Pages (from-to)5398
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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